The government has procured 1.19 lakh tonnes of pulses so far from farmers for creating buffer stock and also contracted to import 46,000 tonnes as part of its effort to cool prices ruling as high as Rs 198 a kg.
The Centre will also ask state governments to expedite lifting of pulses from the buffer stock for sale at subsidised rate not more than Rs 120 per kg.
The government has recently decided to enhance the buffer stock limit of pulses to 8 lakh tonnes for making market intervention when prices firm up in retail markets. It is also importing pulses to boost domestic supply.
“Procurement of Rabi pulses has reached to 68,000 tonnes as on June 27, 2016. Thus together with earlier procurement of 51,000 tonnes of Kharif, total domestic procurement of pulses by government agencies has reached to 1,19,000 tonnes,” Food Ministry said in an official statement.
That apart, 14,321 tonnes of pulses have already arrived in India against the total contracted quantity of 46,000 tonnes, it added.
The availability and prices of pulses and other essential commodities were reviewed at an inter-ministerial meeting, chaired by Consumer Affairs Secretary Hem Pande here today.
“Pande reviewed lifting and distribution of the pulses allocated from the buffer stock to the states. It was decided that the states will be requested again to expedite lifting of pulses – tur and urad for distribution at Rs 120/kg,” the statement said.
In Delhi, outlets of Kendriya Bhandar and Mother Dairy/ Safal have sold 1,058 quintals of tur and 345 quintals of urad at the rate Rs 120/kg till yesterday.
The meeting was attended by senior officials of departments of food, agriculture, economic affairs, revenue and commerce. Officials of Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, MMTC and NAFED were also present.
India is the world’s largest producer of pulses, but its domestic demand outstrips production. The shortfall is met from imports. India imported more than 5.5 million tonnes of pulses last fiscal, largely through private traders.
Pulses output is estimated at 17.06 million tonnes in the 2015-16 crop year (July-June).
Tur and urad dals are selling at as high as Rs 170 per kg and Rs 198 per kg, respectively, in the retail markets.