New Delhi: India, which is facing shortage of pulses for the last few years, is likely to import 3 million tonnes in 2007-08 to meet the growing domestic demand.
“We feel the import would be about 3 million tonnes this year,” consumer affairs secretary Yashwant Bhave said on 21 January.
In a bid to contain the rising prices of pulses, the Centre has entered the global markets to import the commodity. Private trade is also contracting pulses from overseas market such as Myanmar, Canada, Australia and African countries.
Bhave said the public sector trading companies STC, MMTC and PEC alongwith cooperative major Nafed have contracted to import 1.1 million tonnes of pulses since April 2007.
He hoped that these firms would be able to import the targeted 1.5 million tonnes pulses by the end of this fiscal.
According to government sources, the pulses import in the private sector so far stands at 0.8 million tonnes.
The Centre had decided to import 1.5 million tonnes pulses between April and December 2007 and also announced 15% subsidy to the government-owned companies in their import bill on pulses.
Earlier, the government had said that the country would face shortage of pulses during the next 3 years as demand was estimated to outstrip output.
The demand for pulses is estimated to be 18.29 million tonnes in 2009-10 from 16.77 million tonnes projected for 2007-08, while production to remain stagnant at 13.6 million tonnes. The gap between demand and supply is being met through imports.