Pulses Current Affairs - 2020

Union Government to use post offices to distribute pulses

The Union Government has decided to utilise the vast network of post offices across the country to sell subsidised pulses.

The decision was taken during the meeting of the inter-ministerial committee on prices of essential commodities headed by Consumer Affairs Secretary.

The committee reviewed

  • The availability and prices of essential commodities, especially pulses.
  • The prices of pulses, sugar and other essential commodities.

The committee decided to release more gram (chana) from buffer stock to ensure its availability through retail distribution at reasonable prices during the festive season.

Why post offices will distribute pulses?

  • The purpose of this move is to ensure that there is no shortage of the pulses during the ongoing festival season.
  • The postal networks will fill the gap of absence of government outlets in the States for the distribution of pulses, mainly, tur, urad and chana.
  • It will help government to leverage strong network of around 1.54 lakh post offices in the country, of which 1.39 lakh are in rural areas.
  • It will help government to release more pulses from buffer stock and sell it at subsidised prices to protect consumers from high prices.

In order to protect consumers from high prices, Central Government has been releasing tur and urad from its buffer stocks to state governments as well as government agencies like NAFED and Mother Dairy for retail distribution at a subsidised rate.

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CCEA approves enhancing the buffer stock of pulses up to 20 lakh tonnes

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved enhancing the buffer stock for pulses up to 20 lakh tonnes.

The proposal in the regard was forwarded by the Department of Consumer Affairs under the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

Key Facts

  • The buffer stock will be built through domestic procurement and imports of 10 lakh tonnes each.
  • Depending upon price and availability position both domestic and global the specific variety of pulses and their respective quantities for the buffer stock will be decided.
  • Releases from the stock and procurement would be based on the prevailing pulse scenario as well as buffer stock position in subsequent year.
  • Requisite funds for this operation will be provided to the ‘Price Stabilisation Fund’ Scheme of the Department of Consumer Affairs.
  • For creating the buffer stock, domestic procurement operations will be undertaken by the Central Agencies viz. FCI, NAFED and SFAC or any other agency as decided by PSFMC.
  • This procurement will done at the prevailing market prices if these prices are above Minimum Support Prices (MSP) and at MSP, if otherwise.
  • In addition, State Governments will be also authorized to undertake the procurement in a manner similar to decentralized procurement of food-grains.
  • Import of pulses would be undertaken through G2G contract or through spot purchase from the global market through designated Public Sector Enterprise.

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