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Updated on: Friday, May 31, 2019, 09:45 PM IST

Govt to invoke stabilisation fund to keep pulses prices in check: FM

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Retail prices of tur dal rose up to Rs 181 per kg — much higher than the cost of chicken while urad dal  has increased up to Rs 187 per kg

New Delhi : With pulses spiking to a record of up to Rs 190 per kg, the government swung into action with a number of measures including use of price stabilisation fund and imports to cool prices and create a buffer stock. An inter-ministerial group headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reviewed the price situation as rates peaked to Rs 187-190 a kilogram in retail markets across the country.

Jaitley said the government has decided to invoke the Rs 500-crore Price Stabilisation Fund that will be used to pay for transportation, handling, milling and processing — aimed at reducing the cost of imported pulses.

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This would help in increasing supplies and making pulses available in the retail markets at lower rates.

Also, states have been asked to lift stock of pulses lying at ports like Jawaharlal Nehru Port near Mumbai.

To deal with supply crunch, the government has also decided to create a buffer stock of lentils mainly through imports, Jaitley said. He added that “more quantity for the next few days will also be imported into the country so that the supply side problem can be taken care of which will have an impact on prices.”

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Sources said a further 2,000 tonnes of pulses will be imported to curb rising prices. This will be in addition to the 5,000 tonnes lying at the ports and another 2,000 tonnes of pulses that are in transit.

The Finance Minister said a “considerable” amount of stock will come to the market over the next few days. This together with the invocation of the Price Stabilisation Fund will have some impact on cooling down the prices of pulses.

The prices of pulses have risen unabated for the past few months due to a fall in domestic output by about 2 million tonnes (mt) to 17.20 mt in 2014-15 crop year (July-June) owing to deficient monsoon and unseasonal rains.

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Retail prices of tur dal rose up to Rs 181 per kg — much higher than the cost of chicken — in most parts of the country, as against Rs 85 per kg in the year-ago period, as per the data maintained by the Consumer Affairs Ministry. Similarly, urad dal prices have increased up to Rs 187 per kg from Rs 99 per kg in the said period. Much of the increase was seen in these two dals, while the rise in prices of moong dal and gram was moderate.

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Published on: Thursday, October 15, 2015, 03:10 AM IST
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