Government nod for professional agency to manage pulses buffer stock

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News Courtesy : The Economic Times

The government has approved engaging a professional agency for efficient management of buffer stock of pulses, being created for use in times of price rise, Parliament was informed today.

As on February 1, around 9.71 lakh tonnes of pulses have been procured and contracted for imported towards building the buffer. The aim to build a buffer stock of 20 lakh tonnes.

“Government has approved engaging professional pulses buffer management entity for efficient management of  the buffer stock,” Minister of State for Food C R Chaudhary said in his written reply to the Lok Sabha.

Adequate capacity of storage of pulses is available with the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC), he said.

Further, the Minister said, 50,958.01 tonnes of pulses have been allocated to states/union territories so far, of which they have paid for around 37,533 tonnes and lifted around 35,454 tonnes.

No state has asked for 1,00,000 tonnes of pulses from the buffer individually, he noted.
On pulses prices, the Minister said they have not increased during the last two months of the current fiscal.

Replying to a separate query on wheat, he said, the country has imported 18.97 lakh tonne wheat during March-December period of 2016 as against 5.05 lakh tonnes in the previous year.

On lower wheat procurement, Chaudhary said, “The foremost reason for shortfall in wheat procurement by various government agencies despite increased production in 2016-17 in comparison to 2015-16 is proactive buying of wheat by private players in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.”

Wheat procurement fell to 22.9 million tonnes in 2016-17 rabi marketing season ending April from 28 million tonnes in the previous year, he said.
The stock position of wheat is more than buffer and strategic norms. As on January 1, the government has wheat stock of 137.4 lakh tonnes, slightly higher than the buffer/strategic requirement of 128 lakh tonnes.

About 189 lakh tonnes of wheat has been allocated till December 2016 for supply through ration shops at a subsidised rate, he added.

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