press club of india, Indian Tehalka News
With pulses shooting up to Rs 190 per kg, the Modi Government on Wednesday swung into action and announced it will create a buffer stock using imports.
A high-powered meeting headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reviewed the price situation and announced that the Price Stabilisation Fund of the Centre will be used to cool prices of pulses.
After the meeting, which was attended by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Mr. Nripendra Misra, Parliamentary Affairs Minister
Venkaiah Naidu, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and officials, Mr. Jaitley said that the creation of the buffer stock of lentils mainly through imports will help to address the supply crunch.
Mr. Jaitley also said that states have been advised to lift stock of pulses that have been lying at ports including the Jawaharlal Nehru Port near Mumbai.
“Since some amount of stock is available at the JNPT, the group decided that we build up a buffer stock preferably by imports to take care of the problem in future,” he told reporters after the meeting of the inter-ministerial group.
“As far as the present stocks are concerned, we request the states which are in need to start lifting the quantity which is available,” he said.
He also said that since tenders had already been floated for more imports, the incoming supplies would also augment availability and that will have an impact on prices.
About 5,000 tonnes of pulses are lying at the ports, which states are yet to begin to lift, and another 2,000 tonnes of pulses that are in transit. In addition, 2,000 tonnes more will be imported.
“We have also decided to invoke our Price Stabilisation Fund and therefore the handling charges at the port, the transportation charges, the milling and processing charges — in order to make the retail price of the pulses more affordable and ensure availability at prices lower than the international levels–will be borne by the fund,” he said.
Hit by deficient monsoon and unseasonal rains, pulses output fell by about 2 million tonnes (mt) to 17.20 mt in 2014-15.
From: The Hindu