Paswan sees bumper pulse output this year, warns hoarders
The country will see a bumper pulse production this year leading to a fall in prices and hoarders will not stand to benefit, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday said as he asked them to offload their stocks.
Singling out hoarders and blackmarketeers for the sharp rise in retail prices of pulses, he felt that the states did not take stringent action against them.
"The country will have a bumper production of pulses this year and hoarders will not get anything," Paswan said on the sidelines of an event here.
"If hoarders are thinking that they will sell pulses at higher rate, then forget it. They should sell their stocks in the open market as production will be high this year."
Noting that pulse prices have fallen to Rs 100 per kg from Rs 200, Paswan said hoarding was at work behind the price jump.
"States did not take any strong action against hoarders despite our repeated request. As a result, consumers bought pulses at higher rates," he said.
The Centre is supplying tur to states at Rs 66 per kg and urad at Rs 83. He called upon states to place demand for pulses from the central buffer stock.
India's pulse production fell to 16.47 million tonnes in the 2015-16 crop year (July-June) from 17.15 mt in the previous year. The output had been low in the last two crop years due to drought, resulting in spike in retail rates.
However, the production is expected to rise to 20 mt in 2016-17 as farmers have grown pulses in more areas this year on the back of good monsoon, high market price and sharp increase in the minimum support price (MSP).
The Centre has decided to create a buffer stock of 2 mt of pulses through imports and domestic purchases for making market intervention and supply at reasonable rates.