States being provided pulses at less than market rate for midday meals: Centre

by IANS |

New Delhi, Oct 20 (IANS) The Centre is providing pulses to states at Rs 8 per kg, less than the market rate of Rs 42 per kg (issue price) for use in midday meals as well as other food related schemes, to streamline the stock of pulses.

This move was cleared by the Cabinet a month ago and since then, considerable amount of pulses stock has been distributed to states, a top official said, adding that there is enough stock of pulses.

With the festive season in full swing, prices of pulses will not rise much, though there could be minor fluctuations, an official said.

Secretary in the Department of Consumer Affairs Rohit Kumar Singh told mediapersons on Thursday that the government has 43 lakh tonnes of pulses stock and it is from this, that states are being provided pulses for use in their respective schemes.

Out of this, around 20 to 27 lakh tonnes of pulses have come through imports, he said.

On being asked why the Centre is importing pulses despite having an adequate stock, the Secretary said that it is due to the fact that different kind of pulses are consumed in different parts of the country.

To a question on why the government procures pulses from traders who import them, he said that this is done to ensure there is no hoarding.

Singh further said that there is adequate stock of onions in the country (around 25,100 metric tonnes) and states have been asked to procure from it expeditiously so that it does not rot.

He informed that due to timely interventions by the government like caliberated release from buffer stocks, prices of cereals and pulses have been stabilised in the country.

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