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Govt to ramp up pulse buffer stock to 20L tn at Rs 18,500 crore

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New Delhi : Government on Wednesday decided to more than double the buffer stock of pulses to 20 lakh tonnes, at an estimated cost of Rs 18,500 crore, to keep prices stable and encourage farmers to grow dal crop.

Assuring that price of essential items will be kept under control, the government warned that it could cap retail prices using its power under the Essential Commodities Act. The decision to raise the size of buffer stock to 20 lakh tonnes from 8 lakh tonnes was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today.  Briefing the media, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said the government will import 10 lakh tonnes of pulses and procure the remaining from local markets for the buffer stock.