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15,000 tonne pulses to reach domestic markets

Sky-rocketing prices of pulses are likely to moderate, with the government on Friday announcing to procure 15,000 tonnes of Urad and Tur pulses from across the globe which would shortly arrive in the domestic market.

“In a high-level committee meeting held here today (Friday), the government has decided to import an additional 5,000 tonnes of ‘Tur Dal’ (a type of pulse) to increase the availability and control prices of pulses,” the agriculture ministry said in a statement.

This is in addition to the import of 10,000 tonnes pulses whose consignment would reach the domestic market by September 23, it added.

Earlier in the day, state-run Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC) assured the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution that 10,000 tonnes of pulses would arrive soon.

The public sector trading body recently floated a tender to procure 10,000 tonnes of pulses (5,000 tonnes each of Urad and Tur) from the international market.

MMTC, which handles trading of primary products such as coal, iron ore, and manufactured agro and industrial products, were also asked by the ministry to expedite import of the essential commodity to ease its availability in the domestic market.

The government has formed a committee, under the chairmanship of Consumer Affairs Secretary C. Viswanath, to monitor availability and prices of essential commodities.

The committee has directed various agencies to supply imported pulses through retail outlets in the states. The agriculture ministry has urged the state governments to gear up distribution of pulses through retail outlets.

To control spiralling prices of pulses and onions, the union government has taken series of policy initiatives such as imposing stock limits on pulses, requesting state governments to take strict action against hoarding and black-marketing, the statement said.

The export of pulses has already been banned and there is zero duty on their import.