The Centre has asked MMTC to import pulses to ease its availability and requested the state governments to gear up distribution of pulses through retail outlets. MMTC has assured that 10,000 tonnes of pulses will arrive soon. Secretary, Ministry of Consumer Affairs in a video conference recently discussed with the States for further arrangements to increase availability of pulses and onions in the domestic market.
The Government has taken a series of policy initiatives and measures to enhance the availability and thereby moderate prices of pulses and onions. Stock limits have already been imposed on pulses and State Governments have been requested to take strict action against hoarding and black-marketing and use available provisions and powers under Essential Commodities Act. Future trading in pulses like Urad and Tur has already been suspended. Export of Pulses has been banned and there is zero duty on import of pulses. Pulses have also been included for assistance under Price Stabilization scheme. To increase availability of pulses in the domestic market, 5,000 tonnes of Tur and 5,000 tonnes of Urad have been ordered to be imported and these imports are likely to reach shortly, which will ease the price situation, a government release says.
To keep a close watch on availability of essential commodities and monitoring of prices an Inter-Ministerial Committee has been constituted under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Consumer Affairs with representatives from various departments such as Commerce, Food, Agriculture, Revenue among others and also the Cabinet Secretariat.
In the Committee’s first meeting held on September 8, 2015, MMTC was asked to get in touch with States and also with SAFAL to supply imported Dal through retail outlets.