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Thursday, November 26th, 2020

Government paying special attention to enhance availability of pulses

INVC,, Keeping in view the gap between production and demand of pulses a number of steps have been taken by the Government to enhance availability of pulses in the country. Government is paying special attention to enhance production as well as import of pulses. At present two schemes are under operation for the import of pulses. Central PSUs - STC, MMTC, PEC and NAFED have been importing pulses since 2006 with an assurance from the government to reimburse up to 15 percent of landed cost as losses. A second scheme was introduced in November 2008 for providing pulses at a subsidy of Rs. 10 per kg. for distribution through PDS. A total quantity of 4 lakh tonne of pulses was earmarked for this purpose. Nine States have lifted so far about 1.4 lakh tonne under the scheme leaving a balance of 2.6 lakh tonne. The scheme is valid up to 31st March 2010 and the States can utilize it to give protection to the PDS ration card holders. In addition, some of State Governments are also providing additional subsidy to the PDS card holders or have taken market intervention schemes to make available pulses at lower rates. Apart from financial incentives, the Government has also been proactive in keeping contact with the countries which export the major quantities to India. To encourage private sector, the imports of pulses have been kept at zero duty and promoted on Open General License. A campaign for popularization of yellow peas pulses was undertaken in Delhi in collaboration with NAFED, NCCF, Mother Dairy and Kendriya Bhandar. These organizations are supplying yellow peas from their outlets in the Delhi and National Capital Region at Rs. 26 per kg. The country has been facing a long-term shortage in pulses. The maximum production of pulses had been in 1998-99 at 149 lakh tonne (14.91 MT) and the minimum was in 2001-02 at 110 lakh tonne (11.07 MT). It was 147 lakh tonne (14.76 MT) in 2007-08. With an average annual consumption of around 180 lakh tonne, there is a demand-supply gap of about 30 lakh tonne which is filled with by imports every year from various sources. Pulses are one of the major components of National Food Security Mission (NFSM). NFSM (Pulses) is under operation in 171 districts across 14 states where productivity of pulses is low. 15 districts in Jharkhand and 10 in Assam are being added to the NFSM (Pulses) as focus districts from 1st April 2010. So as to give even higher thrust on raising production and productivity of pulses, pulses programme of the Integrated Scheme of Oilseeds, Pulses, Oil Palm and Maize (ISOPAM) and NFSM (Pulses) are being merged in terms of components as well as area.

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