“Not even a single flour mill owner (bidder) participated in the bidding,” Punjab Roller Flour Mill Association President Naresh Ghai said. FCI floated a tender of releasing 48,300 tonnes of wheat under Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS). Last week as well, FCI received just two bids for 600 tonnes of wheat. “We will not participate in the bidding process as long a our demands are met,” he said.
For Punjab, the Centre has kept wheat rate at Rs 1,483 per quintal excluding 5 per cent value added tax (VAT) applicable on the same. Agitating flour mill owners are vociferously protesting the “high” wheat price fixed by the Centre under OMSS. They pointed out that their mills would not be able to compete with other states like Delhi, Jammu where wheat prices would be much lower.
“They said there would be a wide disparity in the rates of wheat-based products produced by them as compared to items produced in Delhi, Rajasthan or Jammu,” he said. Millers claimed that they would have to shell out over Rs 1,575 per quintal including cartage for wheat as against wheat rates ranging between Rs 1,300 and Rs 1,400 a quintal in Delhi, Jammu and other states.
Prices in Punjab for wheat has gone up under OMSS as Centre fixed rate after including 9.5 per cent of state taxes like market fee, rural development fund, infrastructure cess and 2.5 Arthiya’s commission.
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