Open market sale scheme

open market
open market


Under OMSS, Food Corporation of India  sells surplus stocks of wheat and rice under OMSS(Domestic) at predetermined prices through eauction in the open market from time to time.

OMSS aims to enhance the supply of food grains, especially wheat, during the lean season, there by moderating the open market prices, especially in the deficit regions.

FCI sells the food grain under OMSS only for consumption and to keep inflation under control.

It is implemented by the Department of Food & Public Distribution, Ministry of Consumer Affairs.

The Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) is a government initiative aimed at managing surplus food grains and ensuring food security in India. Here are some detailed notes on the OMSS:

Introduction to OMSS

Overview: The OMSS is a scheme implemented by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

Objective: The primary objective of the OMSS is to offload excess food grains from governmentowned stocks into the open market to prevent overstocking and minimize storage costs.

Legal Framework: The OMSS operates under the provisions of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, and other relevant regulations.

Key Features of OMSS

Availability of Commodities: The scheme typically includes surplus wheat and rice procured by government agencies such as FCI.

Mode of Sale: Food grains under OMSS are sold through a transparent auction process to registered bulk buyers, traders, millers, and state governments.

Pricing Mechanism: Prices are determined based on market dynamics, demandsupply conditions, and prevailing minimum support prices (MSPs) for grains.

Quantity Limits: The government sets limits on the quantity of food grains that can be sold under OMSS in a given period to prevent market disruption.

Quality Standards: Food grains sold under OMSS must adhere to prescribed quality standards to ensure consumer safety and satisfaction.

Eligibility and Participation

Registered Buyers: Eligible buyers include registered traders, millers, bulk consumers, state governments, and government agencies involved in food distribution.

Registration Process: Interested buyers need to register with designated authorities and comply with the requirements specified under the OMSS guidelines.

Security Deposit: Buyers may be required to submit a security deposit or fulfill certain financial obligations to participate in OMSS auctions.

Implementation Process

Identification of Surplus Stocks: Government agencies such as FCI identify surplus food grains through regular stock assessments and procurement operations.

Auction Mechanism: FCI or authorized agencies conduct auctions through eplatforms or physical bidding processes, ensuring transparency and fair competition.

Logistics and Transportation: Successful bidders are responsible for arranging logistics and transportation to move the purchased food grains from FCI godowns to their designated locations.

Benefits of OMSS

Preventing Food Wastage: OMSS helps prevent food wastage by offloading excess stocks that would otherwise deteriorate in storage.

Price Stabilization: By releasing surplus grains into the market, OMSS contributes to price stabilization and prevents sharp fluctuations in food grain prices.

Revenue Generation: The proceeds from OMSS auctions provide additional revenue to the government, which can be utilized for welfare programs and agricultural initiatives.

Facilitating Trade: OMSS facilitates trade by providing opportunities for traders and millers to procure quality food grains at competitive prices.


Challenges and Limitations

Market Distortion: Excessive offloading of food grains under OMSS can sometimes distort market dynamics and affect the interests of farmers and other stakeholders.

Logistical Constraints: Transportation and storage logistics pose challenges, especially in remote areas or during peak procurement seasons.

Price Volatility: Fluctuations in market prices and demandsupply dynamics can impact the effectiveness of OMSS in achieving its objectives.

Operational Efficiency: Ensuring efficient implementation and monitoring of OMSS requires robust administrative and technological capabilities.


The OMSS plays a crucial role in managing surplus food grains and ensuring food security in India. Despite challenges, it serves as an important instrument for the government to balance food grain stocks, stabilize prices, and generate revenue. Continuous evaluation and refinement of OMSS mechanisms are essential to maximize its effectiveness and address evolving market dynamics.


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