Source: News Bharati English15 Mar 2017 10:18:40

New Delhi, March 15: The Centre has procured or contracted for imports about 14.66 lakh tonnes of pulses to create a buffer stock. Minister of State for Food and Consumer Affairs C R Chaudhary said this in a written reply to the Lok Sabha yesterday.

10.60 lakh tonnes of pulses have been procured while 4.06 lakh tonnes have been contracted for imports for the buffer stock. He said, a professional Buffer Stock Management Agency will be engaged for efficient management of the buffer stock including procurement, storage, maintenance and liquidation of the stock as per government directive from time to time. Pulses production is estimated at a record 22.14 million tonnes in the 2016-17 crop year as against about 16.5 million tonnes in the previous year, said Chaudhary.

While approving the bid for imports, Price Stabilization Fund Management Committee (PSFMC), inter alia, compares offer rate with prevailing domestic rate and bids are generally approved for import when the rate offered are lower than prevailing domestic prices of that pulses, he added.

Government has approved engaging a professional Buffer Stock Management Agency (BSMA) for efficient management of the buffer stock including procurement, storage, maintenance and liquidation of the stock as per Government directives from time to time. The agency for designing and managing the bid process has been selected. Contract for appointment is being finalized.

As per the Working Group Report on Foodgrains-Balancing Demand & Supply during 12th FYP of Niti Aayog the projected demand for pulses during 2016-17 is estimated to be around 24.61 million tonnes while the estimated production of pulses is 22.14 million tonnes, thereby implying higher demand than domestic production.