To woo the pulses farmers to sell their produce to the procurement agencies, the government has announced a Rs 5-a kg incentive to the growers, on top of the higher support price that it had announced last week.
The incentive of Rs 500 per quintal would be given to the farmers growing tur, urad and moong dals, sold during the two-month harvest period. The new sop would cost the Centre an additional outgo of up to Rs 2,000 crore this year.
"This is likely to result in a subsidy payment of Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 2,000 crore," an official statement said.
Last week, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had announced a sharp increase of up to Rs 700 a quintal in the minimum support price of pulses.
The government soon followed this up with an additional incentive of Rs 5 a kg to the farmers to motivate them to increase acreage under pulses, particularly widely consumed arhar, moong and urad dals.
Prices of pulses are skyrocketing in the retail market. Moong dal is selling at over Rs 100 a kg, while arhar and urad dals are also not far behind. The domestic production of pulses stood at 14.77 million tonne in the 2009-10 crop year as against the annual demand of 18-19 million tonne; resulting in 3.5 million tonne imports last fiscal.