India, Myanmar discussing procurement of pulses

NEW DELHI: Faced with shortage of pulses and increasing prices, the government today said it is negotiating a long-term arrangement for procurement of lentils fromMyanmar .

Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who was recently in Myanmar, said talks are going very well on government-to-government import of pulses.

She said that India imports from various countries as the country produces far lesser than what it consumes.

“Anticipating the requirements of pulses for this year, we have started negotiations with Myanmar so that we can get the pulses through the government agencies so that India will have enough stock of pulses,” she told reporters here.

She said that the move would also help in curbing speculations as it results in consumers’ suffering.

“We shall ensure that enough pulses come to country. I am glad to say that there is a positive engagement with Myanmar,” the minister added.

In a bid to control pulses prices which were inching close to Rs 200/kg, the Centre in May had released 10,400 tonnes of tur and urad from its buffer stock for retail sale at subsidised rate of Rs 120/kg in Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.

The Centre has built a buffer of 50,000 tonnes by way of domestic procurement. It is in the process of procuring one lakh tonnes of chana and masoor in the ongoing rabi season.

Unlike last year, the government has started imports through state-run MMTC  on time to augment domestic supplies and check prices.

Pulses prices have again started spiralling because of fall in domestic production due to back-to-back drought.

Urad is available at Rs 195/kg, tur at Rs 170/kg, moong dal at Rs 121/kg , masoor dal at Rs 105/kg and gram at Rs 85/kg today in retail markets , as per the government data.

As per the Agriculture Ministry’s second estimate, pulses production is estimated at 17.33 million tonnes in 2015-16 crop year (July-June), marginally higher than the previous years production of 17.15 million tonnes.

India is the world’s largest producer of pulses, but its domestic demand outstrips production. The shortfall is met through imports.

Meanwhile replying to a question on India’s new IPR policy, DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek said: “This policy has been just approved. We will be discussing with the RBI and other agencies and other stakeholders on how to take this forward”.

 

Source: The Economic Times

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