NEW DELHI: Battling extremes of drought and, unseasonal rains, complicated now by a warm winter, the government is making sure the supply of stocks of pulses available at right time. The government has issued a tender for importing 5,000 tonne of pulses to boost domestic supply and control prices.
This is the second tender floated by state-owned MMTC this month. The earlier one was for import of a similar quantity of tur dal for delivery in February-March. Fearing a flare up in pulses prices again in 2016 due to little improvement in domestic output, the government has directed MMTC to import more pulses to improve supply and check price rise. The prices of pulses are already trading high at around Rs 180 per kg.
Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at CARE Ratings said, “the weather scenario will certainly have an impact on all the three crops, i.e. wheat, pulses and oilseeds. Already, we have seen the prices of pulses increased to an unprecedented level. As prices pressure situation continues, pulses will be worst affected in terms of prices pressure and wheat and oil seeds may also face some increase. There is nothing much government can do, apart from making sure of supply of stocks of pulses available at right time.”
To increase the availability of pulses and put prices under control, the government has offloaded over 1.12 lakh tonne of pulses, seized from hoarders, in the retail market. According to the recent tender document, MMTC has invited global bids for import of 5,000 tonne of pigeon peas of the latest crop from Myanmar, Malawi, Mozambique or any other origin.
Both technical and price bids should be submitted by February 10 and tenders will remain valid till February 16.