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The Modi Government has announced that it will create buffer stock for pulses using imports, in the wake of pulses shooting up to Rs 190 per kg. The price situation was reviewed by a high-powered meeting, which was headed by Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister. Following this, an announcement was made to cool ‘pulse’ prices using the Price Stabilisation Fund of the Centre.
The meeting was attended by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu, the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Nripendra Misra, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and few other officials.
Mr. Jaitley said after the meeting that the supply crunch could be addressed by the creation of buffer stock of lentils through imports. He added that the advice was sent across to states to lift stock of pulses, lying at ports including the Jawaharlal Nehru Port near Mumbai.
After the inter-ministerial group meeting, Jaitley said, “Since some amount of stock is available at the JNPT, the group decided that we build up a buffer stock preferably by imports to take care of the problem in future,”
“As far as the present stocks are concerned, we request the states which are in need to start lifting the quantity which is available,” he added.
According to Jaitley, tenders that already been floated for more imports, would augment availability of pulses and would have an impact on prices.
“We have also decided to invoke our Price Stabilisation Fund and therefore the handling charges at the port, the transportation charges, the milling and processing charges -- in order to make the retail price of the pulses more affordable and ensure availability at prices lower than the international levels--will be borne by the fund,” Finance Minister said.