Only marginal increase in pulse production this year, says Paswan

Only marginal increase in pulse production this year, says Paswan

Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Saturday said production of pulses in the country would increase only marginally this year compared to last year and the Centre would soon take measures to meet the demand through imports.

Addressing a consultative meeting of the southern region, organised by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, he said pulse production was likely to be around 175 lakh tonnes against the 172 lakh tonnes last year. But the demand is expected to be 235 lakh tonnes. The only way to meet the demand is through imports, he said.

The Commerce Ministry has been requested to give permission at the earliest for imports. “We have also taken steps to keep buffer stocks of the pulses in some states that I have visited, such as Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The Food Corporation of India is purchasing the pulses,” he said.

The prices of pulses are going up because of the demand-supply mismatch. The government is planning to import about 45 lakh tonnes in order to meet the demand. Paswan complimented Karnataka and other states for taking action to prevent black marketing.

Research Centre in Dharwad

Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said his ministry was planning to set up a centre of excellence at Dharwad to conduct research in consumer affairs. The State government has been asked to submit a detailed project report in this regard, he said. Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies Dinesh Gundu Rao said it would be the first-of-its-kind centre in the country to conduct research on consumer affairs. The State has already set aside five acres for the purpose, he said.

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