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Dal at subsidised outlet costs more

It was started as a market intervention strategy to check price rise but retail outlets of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) seem to be doing just the opposite, reports Nivedita Khandekar.

delhi Updated: Mar 17, 2010 00:11 IST

It was started as a market intervention strategy to check price rise but retail outlets of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) seem to be doing just the opposite.

Its outlets are selling yellow peas dal at Rs 26 per kg whereas the market rate for the same is between Rs 22-23 per kg.

In November last year, the Delhi government had launched a scheme of providing pulses cheaper than the market rates and had actively advertised the sale of this dal through retail outlets of NAFED, Kendriya Bhandar and Mother Dairy.

Naresh Gupta, the president of the Delhi Grain Merchant Association, said, “The current wholesale price for the yellow peas dal is Rs 1,700 per quintal or in other words Rs 17 per kg. Even after adding packaging and transportation cost, the retail rate does not go so high.”

HT spoke with many retail grocers across Delhi and most of them said the dal was not much in demand and hence they did not stock it.

One of them said, “This dal is not very popular. The sale has started to pick up slowly now.” He said the dal is actually peas, so one won’t be eating it daily.

The government had allowed import of pulses with a reimbursement of their losses, if any, to the extent of 15 per cent of the landed cost and some service charges.

With an aim to popularise yellow peas dal, which the government claims to be a good source of protein, NAFED had imported the dal from Canada.

Market sources said the rates vary with new arrivals. However, even when open market rates have gone down, the government rates have not shown any decline.

When HT drew the attention of the NAFED authorities towards the disparity, they said the rates would decrease soon.

NAFED Managing Director Dr C V Ananda Bose said, “Under the ‘Farm Gate to Home Gate’ scheme, we will sell 15-30 per cent cheaper than the market rate.”