Scrambling to control prices of pulses, the Centre has decided to import 30,000 tonnes more pulses in an attempt to narrow down the gap between demand and supply and lid prices.The Consumer Affairs department on Wednesday held a meeting of the price stabilisation fund, in which it was decided that more pulses would be procured for the buffer stock. The government had recently increased the buffer stock limit of pulses to 20 lakh tonnes.“The government has decided to import 20,000 tonnes of tur and 10,000 tonnes of urad for the buffer stock,” said a Ministry statement, after the meeting chaired by Union Consumer Affairs Secretary Hem Pande here. The meeting reviewed the procurement and distribution of pulses across the country from the buffer stock.“So far, the government agencies have procured about 1,19,572 tonnes of pulses from the domestic market and farmers. Besides, 56,000 tonnes of pulses have been contracted for import,” said the statement, adding that as of now 1,75,572 tonnes of pulses are available with the buffer stock.It was pointed out during the meeting that the States had been repeatedly requested to lift tur and urad pulses from buffer stock and sell it at subsidised price of Rs. 120 per kg.However, only three States — Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana — have lifted some quantities against their allotments. Over 29,000 tonnes of pulses have been allocated to various States till August 1 to sell on subsidised rates.As per the latest government estimate, pulses production is likely to dip marginally to 16.47 million tonnes during 2015-16 against the previous year’s production of 17.15 million tonnes.Pulses saw an average price rise of 29.6 per cent during 2015-16. Pulses prices have soared up to Rs. 200 per kg in the retail markets in recent months due to fall of production in last two crop years following back-to-back drought.
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