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Panel to explore raising dal minimum support price.

Date: 12-07-2016
Subject: Panel to explore raising dal minimum support price
NEW DELHI: The government on Monday set up a committee under chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian to look into the possibility of increasing the minimum support price (MSP) of pulses and giving additional bonuses to farmers for their production. The Centre also decided to increase the buffer stock of the kitchen staple to 20 lakh tonnes from the present 8 lakh tonnes.

The decisions were taken at a meeting of a ministerial panel chaired by finance minister Arun Jaitley. The committee under Subramanian will submit its report in the next two weeks.

"The solution to our problem lies in increasing the domestic production and bridging the gap between demand and supply. The panel is expected to come up with recommendations on long-term policy on pulses," Paswan told TOI.

Sources said the panel expressed concern over prices of chana dal, which has increased significantly in the past one year by Rs 30-40 per kg despite adequate production and even arrival of the imports.

Importers have complained that in some cases chana dal being imported from Australia is sold in the high seas during transit. They have alleged that while usually the imported chana lands in India at Rs 40-50 per kg, by the time it reaches retail shops prices can touch up to Rs 100.

Realising that hoarding is being done either by importers or traders to jack up prices, the government has decided to create a huge buffer stock of pulses. India annually produces around 17-18 million tonnes of pulses and the demand has crossed 21-22 million tonnes mark.

"We will create buffer stock with the domestic procurement and also imported pulses," Paswan said.

Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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