States asked to project pulse demand

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New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) With an aim that price enhancement does not affect pulses market and the consumers, the government has asked the states to project their demands for pulses so that timely release can be ensured from buffer stocks, an official said on Monday.

A food ministry spokesman said here that states and union territories have been also empowered to impose stock limits on pulses to ensure ability and check hoarding.

“They have been asked to strictly enforce the stock limits and take stringent action against hoarding,” he said.

The government was keeping a close watch on the prices and availability of pulses, he said adding things are being monitored regularly at the “highest level”.

The central government agencies have procured 50,000 tonnes pulses and 25,000 tonnes have been contracted so far for import.

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During 2015-16, 55 lakh MT pulses have also been imported by private traders which are 10 lakh tonne more than the last fiscal year’s import.

In order to encourage pulses production, the central government has already increased minimum support price (MSP) for pulses, by Rs.275 per quintal for tur and urad, and by Rs.250 per quintal for moong.

Faced with high prices of pulses, the Modi government in November last year had hiked the MSP

to farmers for masoor and gram sharply by Rs.250 a quintal each to boost production in the Rabi season.

The sharp jump in pulses MSP will encourage enhanced cultivation of pulses and also help reduce dependence on imports, officials had said.

Apart from raising the MSP of pulses, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved a bonus of Rs.75 per quintal for gram and masoor dals over and above the support price.

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