India. Traders worried over govt's pulses import move

31.08.2016

The government's move for another round of imports of pulses has left the traders worried. With the rates fast going southward, the businessmen are saying that bringing more supply by way of imports will only worsen the situation. It will hit the farmer who may not fetch a good price for the produce.

Citing reports that government plans to import another 90,000 tonne of pulses, The Wholesale Grain and Seeds Merchants Association has termed the move as unwarranted. "Already growers of moong dal have started getting a rate below the minimum support price (MSP). As against an MSP of Rs5,225 a quintal, moong dal in the open market is getting a rate in the range of Rs3,500-4,500 a quintal, said a press release issued by the association.

Pratap Motwani, the association's secretary, said already there is enough supply of pulses in the market. "If the government imports more stocks then the rates are likely to fall by more than 50% from the existing level. This will lead to a huge loss for the government. Even the traders will be hit," he said.

According to the association's estimates, the area under pulses cultivation has gone up by 34% this year. As against a yield of 165 lakh tonne last year, it is expected that the output may be at 200 lakh tonne this season due to favourable monsoon. There has been a sharp decline in the rates of pulses but the government has continued with the import initiative buying at higher rates, he said. In a month's time, the rates have gone down from Rs3,000-1,000 a quintal depending on the variety. Even tur dal is in the range of Rs80 to 72 a kg in the open market, as against state government's fair price shop rates of Rs95 a kg, he said.


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