Govt increases the buffer stock for pulses
The Dollar Business Bureau
The government of India has increased the size of the buffer stock of pulses by more than 5 times to 8 lakh tonnes for this year as they seek to sell lentils at a lower rate for the relief of the customers. This decision was taken at a high-level meeting which was chaired by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. It was also decided to import pulses from Myanmar and African countries to increase the stock.
Despite several measures taken to increase the supply of pulses in the last couple of months, the prices of pulses are ruling in the market for over Rs.170 per kg.
Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Food Minister, Radha Mohan Singh, Agriculture Minister, M Venkaiah Naidu, Urban Development Minister, Nitin Gadkari, Transport Minister and Nirmala Sitaraman, Commerce Minister and secretaries of the ministries were the among the ones who were present at the meeting.
An official statement from the food ministry said, “In a significant decision, the government has decided to enhance the buffer stock of pulses from 1.5 lakh tonnes to 8 lakh tonnes in a high-level meeting on prices held here today.”
The decision for the whole is on the lines of the inter-panel that has been set up by the ministry.
A buffer stock is created by directly procuring pulses from the farmers at the market using the Price Stabilization Fund, the stock is then distributed to the states for retail distribution at a price of Rs.120 per kg.
The government has procured 1.15 lakh tonnes through state-run agencies so far. Out of this, around 10,000 tonnes have been distributed to states like Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for retail distribution.
The reason for creating a buffer stock was to address the deficit of 7.6 million tonnes of the pulses.
It is estimated that pulse production declined to 17.6 million tonnes in 2015-16 crop year, i.e. July to June. The decline is largely because of the two consecutive droughts while the demand for these pulses stands at 23.5 million tonnes.