Pulses production shortfall causing price rise: Arvind Subramanian

Patna, June 26 (IANS) Pulse prices have shot up as a result of their under-cultivation and inadequate domestic production, while the spike in vegetable prices have more to do with market forces than production, Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Arvind Subramanian said on Sunday.

Adressing an international conference on social statistics here, Subramanian said inadequate production have led to a spike in pulse prices in a context of a shift in dietary habits, in which pulses have become the core of the diet among Indians people.

He said that with a view to increase production of pulses, the central government has incentivised their cultivation by raising the minimum support price (MSP), besides taking other measures to encourage farmers to produce these on preferential basis.

Technology should have been put to better use to enhance pulses cultivation, he added.

Referring to the recent surge in tomato prices, Subramanian said the fluctuation in vegetable prices was linked to market forces rather than cultivation.

In view of the prevailing shortage of pulses and their rising prices, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sithraman said earlier this week that India is negotiating with neighbouring Myanmar and other countries towards creating a buffer stock of up to eight lakh tonnes eventually.

Reminding that pulses can be imported by private traders without restriction, Sitharaman told reporters that speculation by traders last year had led to a “lot of price rise that was unwarranted”.

–IANS

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