The Government has approved the proposal of the Department of Consumer Affairs on enhancing the buffer stock for pulses up to 20 lakh tonnes. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the proposal and the buffer stock will be built through domestic procurement and imports of 10 lakh tonnes each.
The specific variety of pulses and their respective quantities for the buffer stock, their phasing/procurement will be decided based on price and availability position, both domestic and global, and changes, if any, in the procurement plan for the current and subsequent seasons will be with due approvals. Releases from the stock and procurement in subsequent year would be based on the prevailing pulse scenario as well as buffer stock position. Requisite funds for this operation would be provided to the ‘Price Stabilisation Fund’ Scheme of the Department.
For creating the buffer stock, the domestic procurement operations will be undertaken by the Central Agencies namely FCI, NAFED and Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) or any other agency as decided by Price Stabilization Fund Management Committee (PSFMC) at the prevailing market prices if the prevailing market prices are above Minimum Support Prices (MSP), and at MSP, if otherwise. In addition, State Governments may also be authorized, wherever possible, to undertake the procurement in a manner similar to decentralized procurement of food-grains.
Import of pulses under PSF to meet the buffer stock requirements would be undertaken through G2G contract and/or spot purchase from the global market through designated Public Sector Enterprise of Department of Commerce or any other agency designated by PSFMC.
The allocation/release of the pulses from the buffer stock would be made to States/ UTs and Central Agencies. Pulses would also be released through strategic open market sale. For managing the buffer, professional pulses buffer management entity may also be engaged. The exercise will ensure a stable price regime for pulses and will also encourage domestic farmers to increase production of pulses.