The government Monday decided to raise the buffer stock of pulses to 20 lakh tonnes from 8 lakh tonnes to keep prices stable and encourage farmers.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal of Department of Consumer Affairs on enhancing the buffer stock for pulses up to 20 lakh tonnes. The buffer stock will be built through domestic procurement and imports of 10 lakh tonnes each,” said official statement.
Government agencies will procure 10 lakh tonnes of pulses from farmers while 10 lakh tonnes will be imported, the government said in a statement.
The prices of pulses such as green, black and red gram hit record highs earlier this year after back-to-back droughts curbed output in 2015.
But in the past few weeks, prices of some pulses fell below their minimum support prices (MSPs) as ample rains prompted farmers to cultivate them on more area.
India fixes the MSPs based on production costs and makes purchases if prices drop below the government-fixed rate.
India, which consumes nearly 22 million tonnes of pulses annually, sources yellow peas and lentils mainly from Canada and the United States, chickpeas from Australia and Russia, and green gram and pigeon peas from Myanmar.
It said that specific variety of pulses, their respective quantities for the buffer stock and their procurement will be decided based on price and availability position, both domestic and global.