New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday said five states, including Bihar, have shown interest to buy a total of 1 lakh tonne of tur from its buffer stock for retail sale at a subsidised rate, in order to check rise in prices of pulses. Besides, the government has also decided to release 40,000 tonnes of tur from the buffer stock in open market sale (OMS) in small lots, so that the releases may reach the retail market at a faster pace and help in cooling off rising prices, it said in a statement.
Pulses are being offered to states from buffer stock at minimum support price (MSP) in bulk as well as retail packs under a new mechanism introduced in September. The intervention, the consumer affairs ministry said, comes amid a rise in retail prices of pulses in the last fortnight despite nearing kharif harvest of tur and urad.
“The retail prices of these pulses have not only remained high as compared to last year, but also recorded a spurt recently,” it said. As on Monday, the all-India average retail prices of tur and urad were observed to have increased 23.71 per cent and 39.10 per cent, respectively, over last year. Several consuming centres of these pulses have recorded an increase of over 20 per cent during the past 15 days, it added.
“Till date, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Bihar and Tamil Nadu have placed their requirements for tur for a total quantity of over about 1 lakh tonnes,” the ministry said. More states are expected to come forward in the near future, it said.
Dhuli urad is being offered at Rs 79 per kilo for K-18 (stock of kharif-2018), and Rs 81 per kilo for K-19. Similarly, tur is offered for retail intervention at Rs 85 per kilo. The Centre has been building a buffer stock of pulses and onion since 2015-16 under the price stabilisation fund (PSF) for carrying out price stabilising interventions.
For the current year, the government aims to build a buffer stock of 20 lakh tonne of pulses.