The Centre is considering all possible measures to ensure availability of pulses at reasonable prices including its import.
The Government would treat the adulteration in food products and deficiency in consumer services as corruption. The Government is exploring all possible options to check reoccurrence of such incidence and to ensure exemplary action to safeguard interests of consumers. The information was given by the Union Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution Minister, Ram Vilas Paswan in Patna today.
States have also been requested to take strict action against hoarding of these items.The Centre has convened meeting of the States in the end of this month to discuss an action plan in this regard.
Briefing media persons, the minister said that foodgrain management has recorded significant improvement over the last year. Additional storage capacity of more than 43,480 lakh MTs has been created in remote areas, especially in the North East, to keep at least three months foodgrain allocation in advance. Innovative experiments like shipping of rice from Andhra to Tripura through Bangladesh waterways and Andhra to Kerala through sea route have been made.
Highlighting the recent initiatives of his Ministry, Paswan said, “In order to protect farmers interests affected with unseasonal rains, the government not only relaxed quality norms for wheat procurement but also decided to bear value cut, for shriveled and broken grains, so that farmers get full minimum support price for their produce”. As a result, during the current Rabi marketing season government agencies have procured five lakh tonne more wheat than the last season.
He further said, “FCI has been asked to work out a plan for procurement of pulses and oil seeds from farmers on MSP and to adopt an aggressive paddy procurement plan in the regions where market prices generally rule below the MSP and distress sale is reported, especially in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.”