Govt lifts ban on export of all varieties of pulses
The Dollar Business Bureau
In the wake of record production of pulses last year, the Government on Thursday removed restrictions on exports of all varieties of pulses so that farmers can get remunerative prices as rates in the domestic market have crashed below the minimum support price (MSP).
“The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for removal of prohibition on export of all types of pulses to ensure that farmers have greater choice in marketing their produce and in getting better remuneration for their produce,” said an official statement.
The decision of the Government comes after two months of lifting a ban on exports of some varieties such as urad, tur and moong dal. However, shipments of these pulses were permitted only through approval from Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA). The shipments of kabuli chana and organic pulses are allowed in a limited quantity.
The production of pulses in India, largest producer and importer in the world, reached a record high of 22.95 million tonnes in the crop year 2016-17 (July-June). In addition, around 5 million tonnes of pulses were imported by the country in the last fiscal, leading to a surplus availability in the local market and drop in prices.
The Government is also expecting a bumper production of pulses this year and also has a buffer stock of about 1.8 million tonnes. The domestic demand in the country every year is around 24 million tonnes.
“The CCEA also empowered the Committee chaired by Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution (DFPD) to review the export/import policy on pulses and consider measures such as quantitative restrictions, prior registration and changes in import duties depending on domestic production and demand, domestic and international prices and international trade volumes,” the statement said.
“It is expected that pulses production will be sustained in the country and our import dependence on pulses will come down substantially,” it added.
The removal of restriction on the exports of all varieties of pulses will help the farmers in disposing off their produce at remunerative rates as well as encourage the farmers to increase their sowing area. In addition, pulses export would offer an alternative market for the surplus output.
The Government has taken several measures to sustain the production of pulses. It has procured around 20 lakh tonnes of pulses directly from the farmers by providing MSP or market rates, whichever is more.