At present no separate permission is required for online sale of essential commodities including foodgrains and grocery items falling under category of essential commodities, because online as well as offline trade of essential commodities are treated legally on the same footing for trade purpose, those traders who have license for offline sale of essential commodities including foodgrains may also sale them online.
To ensure the availability of essential food items in the general retail market, the States being enforcement agencies for EC Act, 1955, take action against black marketing, hoarding, profiteering and speculative trading and unscrupulous traders. Food Corporation of India sells surplus stocks of wheat and rice out of Central Pool under Open Market Sale Scheme (Domestic) through e-auction to the registered Bulk Consumers/Roller Flour Mills/Private Traders from time to time to enhance supply and thereby moderate the open market prices. Higher MSP has been announced so as to incentivize production and thereby enhance availability of food items. The quantities of wheat and rice sold under OMSS (D) during the last two years 2015-16 and 2016-17 are as under:
(in Lakh MT)
Quantity of food grains
This information was given by Shri C.R. Chaudhary, the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.