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NEW DELHI : The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs Wednesday approved 1,200 crore for providing chana (chickpeas) to states at a discounted price, which will be utilized for various welfare schemes.

The chickpeas will be sources from the stock of pulses procured under Price Support Scheme (PSS) and Price Stabilization Fund (PSF).

The committee also approved raising the ceiling on the quantity for procurement under PSS from 25% to 40% in respect of tur, urad and masur lentils.

Under the scheme, states can lift 1.5 million metric tonnes of chana at a discount of 8 per kg over the issue price of the particular sourcing state on a first-come-first-serve basis.

States use these pulses for various welfare schemes or programmes like mid-day meal, public distribution system and integrated child development programmes.

This is a one-time dispensation for a period of 12 months or until complete disposal of the 1.5 million tonnes stock of chana, whichever is earlier.

The government said the decisions will also lead states to make available space for warehouses, which may be required in coming Rabi season for accommodating fresh stocks procured under the price support scheme.

The move will also encourage more farmers to grow such pulses by making higher investment and help them in fetching remunerative price for their produce.

“Moreover, this also helps in achieving self-sufficiency of such pulses in our country," the government added.

In recent times the country has seen an all-time high production of chana, especially during the last three years under the price support scheme.

The government made record procurement of chana during Rabi 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22.

Due to this, more than three million metric tonnes of chana are available with the government under PSS and PSF.

In the coming Rabi season too, production of chana is expected to be good.

This, coupled with an increase in the minimum support price for chana during 22-23 will entail additional procurement under PSS.

The Cabinet separately approved a proposal by the ministry of environment, forest and climate change for signing an memorandum of understanding with Nepal on biodiversity conservation.

The memorandum of understanding aims to strengthen and enhance coordination and cooperation in the field of forests, wildlife, environment, biodiversity conservation and climate change, including restoration of corridors and interlinking areas and sharing knowledge and best practices.

The memorandum of understanding would help in promoting cooperation between India and Nepal.

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