New Delhi, Aug 31 (IANS) The central government on Wednesday directed National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (Nafed) and Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) to gear up for procurement of pulses at the minimum support price plus bonus, in Karnataka and other pulses growing states.
A decision in this regard was taken at the inter-ministerial committee meeting headed by Union Consumer Affairs Secretary Hem Pande, in New Delhi on Wednesday, official sources said.
Meanwhile, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan expressed satisfaction that pulse prices have “started coming down” in wholesale and retail market and said multiple steps taken by the Narendra Modi government including actions against hoarders have brought in the change.
Prices of all major pulses have come down in last week and Arhar dal is now selling in the range of Rs 120 to Rs 136 a kg in the four metro cities.
The retail prices of Arhar dal, which particularly fetched much criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during last two months has nosedived to around Rs 102 per kg even in eastern Indian cities like Patna and Kolkata, official sources said.
Paswan, however, agreed that the drastic fall in wholesale prices of moong (green gram) have created panic among farmers as prices have gone below the MSP level in some places.
However, he said the pulses will be procured at the MSP rate only “in order to protect the interest of farmers”.
Paswan said wholesale pulses prices are falling sharply as hoarders are offloading the stock ahead of harvesting of new crop and more imports.
The Inter ministerial committee headed by Consumer Affairs secretary on Wednesday reviewed the pulses prices and also directed the agencies Nafed and Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium – SFAC to prepare a road map for procurement of kharif pulses.
The official panel also asked the agencies to set up adequate procurement centres in key pulses growing states such as Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, where the area under pulses has gone up significantly this year.