With dal prices ruling at above Rs 200 per kg in the retail markets, the Centre will start procuring 40,000 tonnes of pulses directly from farmers through NAFED and SFAC starting November.
The procured pulses will be used to create buffer stock and the Cabinet note is being moved in this regard, and if required the Centre may also import lentils, Agriculture Secretary Siraj Hussain told PTI.
In the national capital, imported tur dal is being sold at a subsidised rate of Rs 120 per kg at nearly 500 outlets of Kendriya Bhandar and Safal.
“The government has decided to create buffer stock of pulses by procuring from farmers and also by importing if required. Pulses including tur, chana and urad will be procured directly from farmers in major producing districts,” Hussain said.
The Secretary further said the three agencies NAFED, FCI and SFAC will procure on behalf of the Centre.
Nafed will procure from state cooperatives, FCI from state government organisations and SFAC from farmer producer organisations.
“It has been decided that 30,000 tonnes will be procured by Nafed and 10,000 tonnes will be procured by SFAC, The procurement will start from first week of November. And a Cabinet is being moved in this regard by the Agriculture Ministry,” Hussain said.
Around 5,000 tonnes of pulses have already been imported and are being distributed to the states and another 3,000 tonnes are on the way, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said yesterday.
Around 35,000 tonnes of pulses have been seized from 10 states in two days after the state governments intensified crackdown against hoarding and black marketing of the commodity, Jaitley said.
Prices have shot up due to a fall in output by two million tonnes in 2014-15 on deficient and untimely rains.
To control skyrocketing prices, the Centre has taken several measures such as creating a buffer stock of 40,000 tonnes, sale of imported pulses at cheaper rates and imposition of stock limits on traders as well as departmental stores, licensed food processors, importers and exporters.