India, Myanmar discussing procurement of pulses
The Dollar Business Bureau
The Indian government is discussing long-term plans to procure pulses from Myanmar due to its shortage in the country and increased domestic prices. Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the governments of both the countries are in talks for the import of pulses from Myanmar.
India needs to import pulses from several other countries because of its high domestic consumption. Depending on the estimated requirement of pulses this year, the government has begun discussions with the Myanmar government. India can import pulses through government agencies to have sufficient stock of pulses, the minister said during her visit to Myanmar.
She said that the import of pulses from Myanmar would curb speculations on its shortage and put them all to rest. The government wants to ensure that there is adequate stock of pulses in the country by importing from Myanmar and the Myanmar government on its part has responded positively, she added.
The prices of pulses have been increasing continuously due to low production, which is due to consecutive droughts in the country. The Central government had taken several measures to control prices of pulses as they have been increasing over Rs 200 per kg. It has released 10,400 tonnes of tur dal and urad dal in May at subsidized rate of Rs 120 per kg in New Delhi, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
A buffer stock of 50,000 tonnes has been created by the government through domestic procurement. During this rabi season, it is about to procure another one lakh tonnes of chana dal and masoor dal. It has commenced importing through Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC) to control the prices and enhance the supply of lentils in the country.
India is the largest lentil producer in the world. But its domestic consumption is so high that the demand has surpassed production. To meet the shortage, the country needs to import heavily. The production of pulses is expected to be around 17.33 million tonnes this crop year from July 2015 to June 2016. This is slightly higher when compared to the production in the previous year at 17.15 million tonnes, as per the estimates of the Agriculture Ministry.