Centre offers 8.47 lakh tonnes of pulses to states

Centre offers 8.47 lakh tonnes of pulses to states

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Caught napping over the shortage of onions, the Centre has moved swiftly to ensure stability of the prices of pulses in domestic markets, by deciding to offload 8.47 lakh tonnes of the protein staple of vegetarians to the state governments.

The prices of pulses has been between hovering around Rs 65-95 per kilogram, with urad being the most expensive variety that was retailing at Rs 140 per kg.

Unseasonal rains in parts of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka – key pulses growing states – had affected farm output triggering fears of increase in prices.

The Centre has decided to offload 3.2 lakh tonnes of arhar (tur), two lakh tonnes of urad, 1.2 lakh tonnes of chana, 1.5 lakh tonnes of moong and 57,000 tonnes of masoor to state governments at the average market rates.

“The purpose is to ensure an increased overall availability of Pulses in the market across India and also to ensure that prices remain stable,” an official statement said.

The Consumer Affairs Ministry holds buffer stock of pulses under the price stabilisation mechanism, to ensure adequate availability of the lentils in the domestic markets.

According to the ministry data, the average price of chana was Rs 65 per kg, tur Rs 85 per kg, urad Rs 95 per kg, moong Rs 85 per kg and masoor Rs 60 per kg across major cities. However, the maximum rate of chana is Rs 88, tur Rs 110, urad Rs 140, moong Rs 120 and masoor Rs 100 per kg.

The price of onions had shot up to Rs 200 per kg in parts of the country due to non-availability of the edible bulb, crops of which faced widespread damage due to unseasonal rains.

As many as 40% onion crop was damaged due to unseasonal rains, prompting the government to import the kitchen staple from Turkey, Iran and Egypt. Opposition parties accused the government of not planning in advance to prevent a spike in retail prices.

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