The government today decided to further import 90,000 tonnes of pulses, like masoor and tur, to boost domestic supply and control prices.
The decision was taken in a meeting of Price Stabilisation Fund chaired by Consumer Affairs Secretary Hem Pande. The meeting reviewed the procurement and distribution of pulses from buffer stock.
At present, prices of different dals are in a range of Rs 115-175 per kg due to shortfall in domestic output following two consecutive years of drought.
“The Government today ordered further import of 90,000 MT pulses, consisting of 40,000 tonnes of masoor, 20,000 tonnes of tur, 20,000 desi chana and 10,000 tonnes of urad for the buffer stock,” an official statement said.
With this order, the total import of pulses for buffer stock now stands at 1.76 lakh tonnes. The domestic procurement of pulses has also reached to 1.20 lakh tonnes.
The Centre plans to create two million tonnes of buffer stocks, through domestic procurement and imports, for making intervention in the market to control prices. It is supplying pulses to states from buffer stock and has asked them to sell in retail at prices not exceeding Rs 120 per kg.
So far about 40,000 tonnes have been allocated to the states from the stock for distribution. These pulses are provided to the states –- tur at the rate of Rs 67/kg and urad at the rate of Rs 82/kg.
“The government agencies have been also been directed to gear up for domestic procurement for coming crop of pulses, which is expected to good this year,” the statement said.
An inter-ministerial committee on prices of essential commodities also met today to review availability and prices of essential commodities.
The meeting observed that prices of pulses have come down but have not reflected in retail.
“It was of the opinion that states must be asked to take immediate action under Essential Commodities Act to ensure that decline in prices is also reflected in retail also,” the statement said.
The meeting was attended by senior officials of Ministry/ Department of Agriculture, Food, Commerce, Revenue, MMTC, NAFED etc.
Pulses output is estimated to be lower at around 16.5 million tonnes in 2015-16 crop year (July-June) as against the annual demand of 23.5 million tonnes. The gap is being met through imports.