New Delhi, Sep 8 (IANS) The government on Thursday said the procurement of moong dal by official procurement agencies had begun in Karnataka and Maharashtra and that the exercise will be extended to other states soon, depending on the arrival of stocks.
“The agencies have been directed to take up procurement of urad too from September 15 and tur as soon as it arrives in agricultural markets,” a food ministry release said here.
Union Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha on Thursday held a meeting to review prices of essential commodities and directed all ministries and departments to strengthen the monitoring mechanism to ensure the availability of pulses and other essential commodities at reasonable prices during the coming festival season.
The meeting was attended by Secretaries of Department of Consumer Affairs, Department of Food, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Commerce and senior officials of ministries concerned, the release said.
In view of a comparative decline in the prices of moong dal, the Centre on Tuesday announced that the lentil will be procured at the minimum support price.
Accordingly, states were asked to safeguard the interest of farmers.
“Over the years, the government used to fix MSP for moong, but there used to be no procurement by government agencies. But this year, following proposals from Karnataka and Maharashtra governments, a decision has been taken to procure the same,” an Agriculture Ministry official said on Tuesday.
The high prices of pulses has been a major issue haunting the government this year.
Last month, the central government fixed the moong MSP at Rs 5,275 per quintal for this year.
Informed sources said the state-run Nafed has already made arrangements to procure moong in states like Rajasthan, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh.
Keeping the interests of farmers in mind, the Centre has accordingly requested other states also to procure moong at MSP.
The prices of these protein-rich staples have fallen over the last few weeks by almost a quarter while till recently inflation on account of pulses rose by 27.5 per cent per annum in July, pushing the overall food inflation to 8.4 per cent.
Retail inflation also had risen above 6 per cent.