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Cabinet approved reimbursement to 4 PSUs for import of pulses

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The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, to reimburse Rs.113.40 crore of losses on pulses imported between 2006 to 2011 period by four government agencies apart from losses incurred in the sale of pulses up to six months after closure of the scheme.

These four government agencies are the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED), Project and Equipment Corporation (PEC), State Trading Corporation (STC) and Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation (MMTC). This will enable the central public sector undertakings (PSUs) to intensify trading activities and cool down prices.

Background:

During 2006-11, the government had mandated STC, MMTC, PEC and NAFED to import 1.5 million tonne of pulses per annum, out of which 50% was to be yellow peas, and distribute them in the market at a discount up to 15% depending upon market conditions.

Furthermore, the Centre had launched two schemes to meet the demand-supply gap in pulses during 2006-11. In the first scheme, the government had asked the four trading agencies to import and sell pulses in the open market which is subjected to reimbursement of 15% losses. Another initiative was to distribute imported pulses through ration shops to poor people at a fixed subsidy of Rs 10 per kg.

Initiatives:

In a bid to improve supplies in the domestic market under the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF), the government had commenced importing pulses after a gap of two years.

Also in order to ensure retail distribution to the consumers, it was decided to import 5000 tonnes of Tur Dal and 5000 tonnes of Urad Dal by MMTC. The first consignment of imported Dal would be reaching Mumbai by 5th September, 2015.

The Centre has taken several measures to increase availability and control the price of essential commodities, especially pulses and onions in the last few months. States have been empowered to impose stock limits on pulses. Export of all pulses is banned except Kabuli Chana, Organic pulses and Lintels to the tune of 10,000 MTs. Apart from that, there is zero duty on import of pulses.