The central government on Friday said it will buy 40,000 tonnes of pulses from farmers to create a buffer stock for controlling prices, which have soared up to Rs. 190 per kg in the retail markets.
“We have decided to create a buffer stock of 40,000 tonnes of tur and urad dals. Through Nafed (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Fedration of India), we will buy 30,000 tonnes of tur and 10,000 tonnes of urad at market rate from farmers,” Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjeev Kumar Balyan told reporters on Friday.
“Nafed would start procuring kharif pulses from the next month onwards,” he added.
In order to give relief to common man, he said the Kendriya Bhandar and Mother Dairy’s Safal outlets would sell imported tur at Rs.120-130 per kg in Delhi. Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have also started selling imported lentils.
Cooperative Nafed will be given funds from the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF), managed by the agriculture ministry, to buy pulses. The buffer stock will be offloaded to provide relief to consumers from rising prices, Balyan said.
On imports, he said the government through state-owned MMTC has imported 5,000 tonnes of tur and will soon finalise the contracts for importing an additional 2,000 tonnes. He said there is shortage of pulses in the global market and prices too have increased.
“The price increase in the domestic market is mainly due to shortage in production owing to poor rainfall. Private traders are taking advantage of this situation,” he said.
Retail prices of tur dal have risen up to Rs.190 per kg in most parts of the country, from Rs.85 per kg a year ago. Similarly, urad dal prices rose to nearly Rs.190 per kg from Rs.100 per kg in the year-ago period.