The government today decided to import 7,500 tonnes of chana and masoor dal in the coming days to boost domestic supply and curb prices.
The pulses issue was discussed in detail in the meeting of Management Committee of Price Stabilisation Fund, chaired by Consumer Affairs Secretary Hem Pande here today.
“The meeting decided to further tender import of 5,000 tonnes of chana and 2,500 tonnes of masoor. It also asked MMTC to order import of 2,500 masoor against its already contracted quantity,” the Food Ministry said in a statement.
So far, state-run MMTC — which is importing pulses on behalf of the government — has contracted 46,000 tonnes of pulses from the overseas market. Of this, 14,321 tonnes has landed in the country.
In the meeting, the government also decided to allocate pulses from its buffer stock to Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar for retail distribution at a subsidised rate of Rs 120 per kg.
The pulses, especially tur and urad, are allocated to these states at Rs 66 per kg so that they can retail further at not more than Rs 120 per kg.
So far, 1.19 lakh tonnes of pulses has been procured for the buffer stock. The rabi pulses procurement is expected to continue till July, the statement added.
At present, pulses prices are retailing as high as Rs 198 per kg due to shortfall in the domestic ouput following two consecutive years of drought.
Pulses output is estimated to be lower at 17.06 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.