India’s retail inflation for pulses is expected to be under 5 per cent during the second half of the current fiscal, India Ratings and Research said on Monday.
As per the agency, this estimate is based on the high level of prices during the corresponding period of last fiscal and the measures taken by the Centre to meet the rising demand.
India is one of the major consumers, producers and importers of pulses.
Besides, the agency cited that the demand-supply mismatch had led to high inflation in pulses in the country.
“The Covid-19 pandemic aggravated the demand-supply gap as households increased their consumption of pulses to shift towards healthy eating habits and build immunity. As a result, retail pulses inflation increased to 16.4 per cent in FY21 from 9.9 per cent in FY20,” the ratings agency said.
Notably, WPI inflation saw a decline during the same period to 11.6 per cent from 15.9 per cent, suggesting a higher mark-up by retailers or hoarding or both.
“The retail inflation in pulses remained in double digits in FY21. This was despite a record production of 25.72 million tonnes on the back of higher minimum support prices and higher procurement by central and state agencies which incentivised farmers to grow more pulses,” the agency added.
To tame pulse inflation, the Centre had announced a string of measures, including a cut in import duties and imposition of stockholding limits for traders. Also, the Centre has extended the imports window for pulses till December 31, 2021, the ratings agency added.
In addition, Ind-Ra expects the country’s Kharif output for pulses to be around 9 million tonnes, which is lower than the first advance estimates of 9.45 million tonnes due to erratic monsoon this year with record excessive rains in September.
The Kharif season accounts for over 40 per cent of India’s overall production of pulses.