In a bid to control pulses prices which are inching close to Rs 200/kg, the Centre today said it has released 10,400 tonnes of tur and urad from its buffer stock for retail sale at subsidised rate of Rs 120/kg in Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.
The Centre has built a buffer of 50,000 tonnes by way of domestic procurement. It is in the processing of procuring one lakh tonnes of chana and masoor in the ongoing rabi season.
“From our buffer stock, we have released 400 tonnes of tur and urad to Kendriya Bhandar and Safal outlets in Delhi. We have given them unmilled pulses. We have asked them sell at subsidised rate of not more than Rs 120/kg after milling,” Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told reporters.
Kendriya Bhandar and Mother Dairy’s retail chain Safal have informed that they will sell tur and urad at subsidised rates via their retail outlets in the national capital from tomorrow, he added.
Paswan further said that the Centre has released 2,000 tonnes of tur to the Andhra Pradesh government against the demand of 8,000 tonnes, while Telangana has also been given 2,000 tonnes of tur from the buffer stock against the demand of 15,000 tonnes.
In case of Tamil Nadu, the government has sanctioned 5,000 tonnes of urad against the demand of 10,000 tonnes and 1,000 tonnes of tur has been released against the requirement of 2,000 tonnes.
The Maharashtra government has placed an order for 30,000 tonnes of tur and urad, Paswan said, adding that the decision on this will be taken soon.
He also mentioned that the Rajasthan government has placed an order of 1,000 tonnes each of tur and urad over the phone and will send a formal proposal soon.
Even Haryana and Karnataka governments have communicated that they will send their demand of pulses soon, he added.
Stating that pulses supplies are being augmented through buffer stock and imports, the Minister said the centre has contracted to import 26,000 tonnes of tur and urad so far this fiscal, of which 10,000 tonnes has already landed.
Unlike last year, the government has started imports through state-run MMTC on time to augment domestic supplies and check prices, he said.
The Centre has also empowered the states to impose stock limits on the pulses to ensure easy availability, he added.
Pulses prices have again started spiralling because of fall in domestic production due to back-to-back drought.
Urad is available at Rs 195/kg, tur at Rs 170/kg, moong dal at Rs 121/kg , masoor dal at Rs 105/kg and gram at Rs 85/kg today in retail markets, as per the government data.
As per the Agriculture Ministry’s second estimate, pulses production is estimated at 17.33 million tonnes in 2015-16 crop year (July-June), marginally higher than the previous years production of 17.15 million tonnes.
India is the world’s largest producer of pulses, but its domestic demand outstrips production. The shortfall is met through imports.