Govt plans Rs 10/kg subsidy for pulses | business | Hindustan Times
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Govt plans Rs 10/kg subsidy for pulses

An inflation-battered government is examining a scheme for supply of four lakh tonnes of pulses with a subsidy of Rs 10 per kilogramme.

business Updated: Aug 22, 2008 22:08 IST
HT Correspondent

An inflation-battered government is examining a scheme for supply of four lakh tonnes of pulses with a subsidy of Rs 10 per kilogramme.

Officials said it would be modelled on the similar scheme for subsidised edible oil supply through ration shops in 15 states launched recently.

The total production of pulses in India is in the range of 14 to 14.5 million tonne, leaving a shortfall of about 3 million tonnes that have to be imported.

India imports pulses from Canada, Australia and some African countries and is also looking at importing about one million tonne of pulses from Myanmar.

These would be canalised through public sector trading agencies, including State Trading Agencies and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation Ltd (Nafed) among others.

The retail prices of main pulses like arhar, moong and urad continue to rule at high levels and is available at in the range of Rs 40-50 per kg in many places of the country.

India’s inflation rate showed no signs of abating, reaching a worrisome 12.63 per cent mark, although the government said prices of essential commodities have shown signs of stabilising.

“While the whole sale price index continues to be a matter of concern and efforts are being made to address the problem through monetary steps as well as improving the supply side, it will be relevant to note that the rate of inflation for the 30 essential commodities stands, currently, at 6.74 per cent,” the finance ministry said in a statement on Friday.

The government on Thursday approved an “open market sale scheme of wheat” through which the government will allocate wheat to state governments for distribution to retail consumers.

India’s annual inflation has risen persistently since the last few months on the back of rising global commodity and crude oil prices.

After showing signs of cooling off in recent days, crude oil prices again rose by nearly $ 3 per barrel and were ruling at nearly $120 per barrel on Friday.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched an all-round monetary attack on inflation by raising key interest and reserve rates to reduce liquidity and aggregate demand.

The government has also taken a host of supply boosting measures like duty cuts and export ban on foodgrains and pulses to tame the runaway price line. “Supply side measures will work in the medium to long-term,” the statement said.