Govt procures 1.11 L tonnes of pulses for buffer stock
The Dollar Business Bureau
The government, so far, has acquired 1.11 lakh tonnes of pulses from farmers for the buffer stock. Meanwhile, in an effort to control the retail prices, the government has also agreed to import 38,500 tonnes of pulses.
The states have been asked to place their requests for allotment of pulses from the buffer stock and sell them at prices not exceeding Rs.120 per kg.
In the inter-ministerial committee meeting, headed by the Consumer Affairs Secretary Hem Pande, it was informed that of the 38,500 tonnes of contracted pulses, 13,000 tonnes already were brought into the country while 6,000 tonnes are in the process of being shipped. The agenda of the meeting was to review the prices of basic commodities. The 13,000 tonnes of pulses include 11,000 tonnes of tur and 2,000 tonnes of urad dal.
In December 2015, the government had decided to create a buffer stock of 1.5 lakh tonnes of pulses with an intention to intervene into the markets when the prices increase. To boost the domestic supply, it also decided to import lentils.
Besides the contracted imports, the government agencies have purchased 60,000 tonnes of rabi and 51,000 tonnes of kharif pulses so far. The states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan have been allotted some share from the buffer stock upon request.
Though India is the largest pulses producer in the world, its demand exceeds production. In the last crop year, India imported over 5.5 million tonnes of pulses, while the production for the same period stood at 17.06 million tonnes.
The prices of urad dal (black/white lentils) and tur dal (split pigeon peas) in retail markets are Rs.185 and Rs.165 per kg, respectively.