Government today directed state-run MMTC to import further 30,000 tonnes of tur and urad for the buffer stock, which is being sold in the open market at a highly subsidised rates to provide relief to consumers.
Despite repeated requests, the states have lifted only 4,721 tonnes of pulses so far for retail sale at subsidised rates against the allocation of 29,132 tonnes, it said.
MMTC is importing pulses on behalf of the government. So far, it has contracted 56,000 tonnes of pulses for the buffer stock purpose.
“The government has decided to import further 30,000 tonnes of pulses, consisting of 20,000 tonnes of tur and 10,000 tonnes of urad, for the buffer stock,” a Food Ministry statement said.
The decision to this effect was taken in a meeting of Price Stabilisation Fund chaired by Consumer Affairs Secretary, Hem Pande here today. The meeting reviewed the procurement and distribution of pulses from buffer stock.
The buffer stock is being created by procuring pulses directly from farmers at market prices using the Price Stabilisation Fund as well as through imports. The stock is being released to states for retail distribution at a subsidised rate of Rs 120 per kg, it said.
So far, there is a buffer stock of 1.75 lakh tonnes of pulses, of which 1.19 lakh tonnes of lentils was procured from farmers in the domestic market.
The Centre said it has repeatedly requested the state governments to lift tur and urad from the buffer stock for retail distribution.
“On the request of the state governments, over 29,000 tonnes of pulses have been allocated to the states as on January 18, but only three states have lifted some quantities against their allotments,” it said in the statement.
Out of which, the three states – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu – have lifted 4,721 tonnes so far, it added.
The buffer stock of pulses is being sold at a subsidised rate in order to boost domestic supply and provide relief to consumers from high prices of dals, which are ruling at over Rs 175 a kg due to fall in domestic output because of drought.
Production of pulses is estimated to have declined to 17.06 million tonnes in 2015-16 crop year (July-June) due to two consecutive years of drought, while the demand for it stands at 23.5 million tonnes.