Monday, June 22, 2015

Focus: Price of 'Pulses' Crossed 100 Per Kilogram In India

By Kajol Singh in Delhi
In India, all pulses are pinching the pocket despite the significant hike in the minimum support price (MSP) of some varieties by up to Rs 275/quintal, which was aimed at boosting production. 

Amid the supply crunch, retail prices of many pulses have crossed Rs 100/kg mark in major cities. Government agencies are yet to float the tender for import of pulses to check the rising prices. 

Barring gram and masoor, all major varieties of pulses - including tur, urad and moong - are being sold at prices above Rs 100 per kg in the four metros due to lower production of key lentils during the last harvest.

Consumers in Mumbai and Chennai are paying the maximum price for tur, urad and moong, followed by Delhi and Kolkata. 

Prices have increased by more than 60 per cent in the last one year as domestic production fell by nearly 2 million tonnes (MT) in the 2014-15 crop year (July-June) due to unfavourable weather conditions. 

To check prices, the government has decided to boost supply by importing pulses in large quantities while also finalising the modalities for the import through state-trading agencies like MMTC. However, they are yet to float import tenders. 

Though India produces 18-19 MT of pulses, it also imports 3-4 MT annually to meet domestic shortage. 

According to data maintained by the consumer affairs ministry, tur prices in Mumbai and Chennai have increased to Rs 116/kg from Rs 72- Rs 79/kg in the year-ago period, while rates of urad dals have risen to Rs 121- Rs 123/kg from Rs 79- Rs 84/kg in the said period. 

Similarly, moong prices in these two cities have shot up to Rs 111/kg from Rs 92- Rs 97/kg while gram dal rates have increased to Rs 68- Rs 70/kg from Rs 47- Rs 61/kg in the period under review. 

In Delhi and Kolkata, consumers are paying Rs 105- Rs 113/kg for tur at present as against Rs 68- Rs 73/kg in the year-ago period. 

They are paying Rs 108- Rs 112/kg for urad, Rs 103- Rs 105/kg for moong, Rs 84- Rs 94/kg for masoor and Rs 64- Rs 68/kg for gram. 

In the year-ago period, tur and urad were available in these two metro at Rs 68- Rs 73/kg, moong at Rs 85-  Rs 92/kg, masoor at Rs 60- Rs 70/kg and gram at Rs 44- Rs 49/kg, the data showed. 

“There has been less production of pulses. We will import pulses whatever quantity is required,” food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan had said recently.

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