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As prices rise, Centre to release 1.4 lakh tonnes of pulses from buffer stock

Several major consuming centres of urad (black gram) and tur dal have seen a 20% spike in prices over the last two weeks alone. File  

In a bid to cool down the recent hike in pulses prices, the Union government plans to release 40,000 tonnes of tur dal from its buffer stock into the retail market in small lots. Five States have expressed an interest in buying one lakh tonnes of the dal from the Central buffer stock at MSP (minimum support price) rates to sell at subsidised prices, according to the Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA).

Several major consuming centres of urad (black gram) and tur dal have seen a 20% spike in prices over the last two weeks alone. At an all-India level, the average retail prices of urad have shot up almost 40% in comparison to last year, while the average retail prices of tur dal have increased almost 24%, says an official statement.

Last month, the DoCA introduced a mechanism to use the buffer stock of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED), which procures pulses from farmers at MSP rates, to moderate retail prices by supplying pulses to the States and the Union Territories. The States are supplied pulses either in bulk or in retail packs for supply through the ration shops of the Public Distribution System, or through milk and vegetable outlets run by the government or cooperatives.

“Till date, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Bihar and Tamil Nadu have placed their requirements for tur for a total quantity of over approximately 1,00,000 metric tonnes. More States are expected to come forward in the near future,” said the statement.

For such retail intervention, offer prices are fixed on the basis of MSP itself, or the Dynamic Reserve Price, whichever is lower. Tur is being offered for ₹85 a kg, while urad dal from the 2018 season is being offered at ₹79 a kg and that from the 2019 season for ₹81 a kg. This move will also help clear NAFED’s existing stock to make way for procurement from this season’s harvest, due to arrive in markets soon.

“Apart from this retail intervention, the DoCA has also decided to release 40,000 metric tonnes of tur from the buffer stock in Open Market Sale [OMS] in small lots so that the releases may reach the retail market at a faster pace and help in cooling off rising prices,”the statement stated.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 10:14:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/as-prices-rise-centre-to-release-14-lakh-tonnes-of-pulses-from-buffer-stock/article32853962.ece

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