Govt-to-govt contract plan to import pulses, says Ram Vilas Paswan

BENGALURU: Government-to-government contract is being planned to import pulses to bridge the supply-demand gap and maintain stability of prices, Government of India’s food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Monday.
The situation of pulses is now under control and month on month their prices have gone down, he told reporters here.
“There is a gap between demand and supply. This year our production is 170 lakh tonnes, last year it was 171 lakh tonnes, before that it was 173 lakh tonnes. On the demand side it is increasing 10 lakh tonnes per year. This year it will be 246 lakh tonnes,” he said.
The minister said the central government has worked out a strategy to mitigate the shortage of pulses and maintain the stability of the prices.
He said there would be a gap of over 76 lakh tonnes. In this case, private importers may import only 60 lakh tonnes. For the rest, the government has planned to have government-to-government contract to fill the gap. “Our team will go to Myanmar and other countries for this.”
Paswan said the government has also maintained a buffer stock, for which it has already purchased 1,13,000 tonnes of pulses.
State governments have also been asked to purchase pulses (for retail distribution).
“We are providing them tur dal at Rs 66 per kg and urad dal at Rs 82 per kg. The strategy that we have made has resulted in price stability,” he added.
On sugar prices, Paswan said in the last few months it has gone up and to mitigate this, government has taken various steps.
Maintaining that price of foodgrains and onion had not increased, he said the only problem was pulses, but government had taken measures on that front.
He said the GoI has also asked state governments to take action on hoarding of pulses and this has resulted in reduction of prices.