Centre bolsters retail stocks of chana dal to temper prices | Mint
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Business News/ News / India/  Centre bolsters retail stocks of chana dal to temper prices
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Centre bolsters retail stocks of chana dal to temper prices

This comes after the Centre approved a proposed mechanism for converting 20% chana stock into chana dal for retail sale by the department of consumer affairs

Pulses are a common source of protein for most Indians. (AFP) (HT_PRINT)Premium
Pulses are a common source of protein for most Indians. (AFP) (HT_PRINT)

NEW DELHI : Amid skyrocketing prices of Kharif pulses, the Union government will supply chana dal (gram) to states for purposes other than welfare schemes, and to about 705 retail outlets of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed), National Cooperative Consumers Federation of India (NCCF), Kendriya Bhandar and Safal.

This comes after the Centre approved a proposed mechanism for converting 20% chana stock into chana dal for retail sale by the department of consumer affairs. The step is expected to help augment supply of pulses at a time when the domestic market is facing a shortage of tur dal.

Mint on 10 June reported the government plans to convert 20% of its raw chana stocks to chana dal and supply it in the retail market. This is aimed at reducing huge quantities of chana and lower stock of other pulses than their strategic buffer requirement.

The retail packs will be in two variants—1 kg and 30 kg, and the price for the one kg pack could be between 55 and 60, said two people aware of the development.

The department was suggested to have higher initial target to supply 100,000 tonnes of chana dal in the first three months in order to adequately impact prices of other pulses and to achieve conversion of 20% raw chana stock in chana dal in the next six months.

The department was suggested to have higher initial target to supply 100,000 tonnes of chana dal in the first three months to have adequate impact on the prices of other pulses and to achieve conversion of 20% raw chana stock in chana dal in the coming six months.

To convert 20% of chana stock into chana dal for retail sales, the department will supply an initial quantity of 50,000 tonnes of the pulse in the first three months, one of the two people said.

At present, the Centre has 3.7 mt of chana in its stock under price support scheme (PSS) as well as price stabilisation fund (PSF) scheme as against its buffer norm of 1 mt, while it has about 100,000 tonnes of tur in its buffer stock (PSS and PSF), against the norm of 1mt.

Queries sent to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India on Wednesday remained unanswered till press time.

Chana, a crucial rabi pulses variety, accounts for India’s half pulses basket and 5% in the total foodgrains basket.

The policy decision of conversion of raw chana stock to chana dal is aimed to substitute other pulses, especially tur amid its falling production pushing prices up.

Prices of tur dal in key wholesale markets of Maharashtra such as Akola and Latur and Karnataka’s Gulbarga have jumped about 40-60% since the beginning of the fresh crop arrival in mandis in December, and the modal price of the pulse is currently quoted at 9,300 a quintal in Akola, 8,901 in Latur and 10,009 per quintal in Gulbarga, agriculture ministry’s agmarketnet data show.

While the government estimates tur production has been 3 mt in 2022-23 (July-June) crop year, the industry projects it was 2.7-2.8 mt against the annual domestic consumption of 4.4-4.5 mt. The fall in production is attributed to last year’s unseasonal rain during the crop maturing period in October.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Puja Das
Puja Das is a New Delhi based policy reporter covering food, farm, fertiliser, water, and climate policies for Mint. Puja reports on farmers' distress and how the agriculture sector is impacting India's rural economy and policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at COP27. Puja holds a post-graduation degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, Bangalore.
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Published: 07 Jul 2023, 11:09 PM IST
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