Govt to import additional 30,000 tonnes of pulses

MMTC has contracted 56,000 tonnes of pulses for the purpose of buffer stock, so far.

The Dollar Business Bureau

In order to control the rising pulses prices, the government has given directions to state-owned MMTC for importing additional 30,000 tonnes of urad and tur for the buffer stock to be sold in open market at subsidised prices.

“The government has decided to import further 30,000 tonnes of pulses, consisting of 20,000 tonnes of tur and 10,000 tonnes of urad, for the buffer stock," a statement by Food Ministry said.

A Price Stabilisation Fund meeting on Thursday, headed by Hem Pande, Consumer Affairs Secretary, has taken the decision in this regard. The meeting also reviewed the pulses distribution and procurement for buffer stock.

In spite of repeated requests, the states have picked up just 4,721 tonnes of pulses till date to be sold in retail market at subsidised prices against the allocated 29,132 tonnes, it said.

MMTC (Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India), which imports pulses on behalf of government, has contracted 56,000 tonnes of pulses for the purpose of buffer stock, so far.

The buffer stock is being set up by directly sourcing pulses from the farmers at market rates, utilising the Price Stabilisation Fund and through imports. This stock is released for retail distribution to the states at a subsidised price of Rs.120 a kg, it said.

Till now, there are 1.75 lakh tonnes of pulses in the buffer stock. Out of which, 1.19 lakh tonnes was procured from the farmers in domestic market.

“On state governments’ request, the Centre has allocated more than 29,000 tonnes of pulses to the states as of January 18 this year. However, only three states - Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, have picked up some quantities compared to their allotted quantity,” the government said in the statement.

India’s pulses output is estimated to have dropped to 17.06 million tonnes in the crop year (July-June) of 2015-16 because of drought for two consecutive years, whereas the demand for pulses in the country stands at 23.5 million tonnes.

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The Dollar Business Bureau - Aug 04, 2016 12:00 IST