- Eastern Economic Forum
- Open Market Sale Scheme
Context: The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, has departed for Russia to represent India at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF), which is currently underway in Vladivostok, a Russian port city.
GS2- International Relations
Dimensions of the article:
- About Eastern Economic Forum
- Eastern Economic Forum, 2023
- About Eastern Maritime Corridor (EMC)
About Eastern Economic Forum (EEF):
- It was established in 2015 with the aim of attracting foreign investments to the Russian Far East.
- It serves as a platform to showcase the economic potential of the region, along with offering favorable business conditions and investment prospects.
- Over the years, the EEF has witnessed substantial growth in agreements, rising from 217 in 2017 to 380 in 2021, with a total worth of 3.6 trillion roubles. These agreements primarily focus on various sectors such as infrastructure, transportation, mineral extraction, construction, industry, and agriculture.
- Notable participants in the Russian Far East (RFE) include China, South Korea, Japan, and India, with China being the largest investor, contributing 90% of total investments.
- Russia’s strategic development of the region aims to link it to Asian trading routes. By rapidly modernizing cities like Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Ulan-Ude, Chita, and more, Russia intends to attract more investments, especially in the face of economic crises and sanctions, with support from Asian powers like China.
- The 8th Eastern Economic Forum in 2023 is being held from September 10 to 13 on the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) campus in Vladivostok.
- Shri Sonowal is scheduled to address the India-Russia Business Dialogue during the EEF. His focus will be on highlighting the crucial role of trade, commerce, and business in bolstering stability and sustainability within the special and privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia.
- Additionally, India’s Shipping Minister will speak during the session dedicated to the Eastern Maritime Corridor. He will also hold meetings with senior Russian ministers to explore opportunities for strengthening bilateral relations, including the potential for utilizing the Northern Sea Route and establishing a Transshipment Hub in the Bay of Bengal.
About Eastern Maritime Corridor (EMC):
- India and Russia are collaborating to establish the Chennai-Vladivostok maritime route, which is anticipated to reduce transportation time from 32 days to just 12 days, while also cutting costs by approximately 30%. This route traverses through the Sea of Japan, the South China Sea, and the Malacca Strait.
- The Eastern Maritime Corridor seeks to significantly reduce transit times for cargo between India and the Russian Far East, with the journey from Indian ports to the Russian Far East taking only 24 days, compared to the 30 days required through the Novorossiysk port. This corridor holds great potential for opening up new trade and cooperation opportunities for both India and Russia.
As a component of the Indian government’s effort to regulate the retail prices of rice, wheat, and flour (atta), weekly electronic auctions are conducted. The 11th e-auction for the fiscal year 2023-24 took place on September 6, 2023. In this auction, a total of 2.0 Lakh Metric Tons (LMT) of wheat sourced from 500 depots and 4.89 Lakh Metric Tons (LMT) of rice from 337 depots were made available for sale from various regions of the country.
GS3-PDS, Buffer Stock
Dimensions of the article:
- About OMSS
- About FCI
- Current status of rice and wheat cultivation in India
- The Food Corporation of India (FCI) periodically sells excess stocks of wheat and rice at predetermined prices through electronic auctions in the open market to bolster the food grain supply.
- The Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) serves the dual purpose of divesting surplus wheat and rice stocks held by FCI while also regulating wheat prices in the open market.
- FCI conducts weekly auctions for wheat under OMSS using the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX) platform, which is an Indian commodity exchange facilitating trading in various agricultural and other commodities.
- FCI, a government-owned entity established in 1965 under the Food Corporation’s Act of 1964, plays a pivotal role in managing India’s food security system.
- Its core objectives include ensuring a consistent food grain supply across the nation, stabilizing market prices, maintaining buffer stocks for times of scarcity or crises, and distributing food grains through the public distribution system.
- In addition to other disposal methods, FCI also employs e-auctions as a means to divest surplus food grains.
Current status of rice and wheat cultivation in India:
An estimated quantity of 521.27 Lakh Metric Tons (LMT) of rice is projected for procurement in the upcoming Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) for 2023-24, compared to the previous year’s estimate of 518 LMT, of which 496 LMT was actually procured during the last Kharif Marketing Season of 2022-23.
During the KMS 2023-24 for the Kharif crop, the leading states in terms of anticipated rice procurement are Punjab (with an estimate of 122 LMT), followed by Chhattisgarh (61 LMT) and Telangana (50 LMT). These are followed by Odisha (44.28 LMT), Uttar Pradesh (44 LMT), Haryana (40 LMT), Madhya Pradesh (34 LMT), Bihar (30 LMT), Andhra Pradesh (25 LMT), West Bengal (24 LMT), and Tamil Nadu (15 LMT).