The government had announced the sale of subsidised chana dal under the brand name ‘Bharat Dal’ in July. The dal was sold for ₹60 per kg for a 1-kg pack and ₹55/kg for a 30kg pack to make pulses available to consumers at affordable prices, said Union minister of state for ministry of consumer affairs, food & public distribution Ashwini Kumar Choubey.
Bharat Dal is being distributed through retail outlets of NAFED, NCCF, Kendriya Bhandar and Safal. The chana dal, under this arrangement, is also made available to state governments for supplies under their welfare schemes, police, jails, and also for distribution through the retail outlets of state government controlled cooperatives and corporations.
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, the minister said in order to make pulses available to consumers at affordable prices, the government maintains buffer stock of five major pulses, namely, chana, tur, urad, moong and masur under the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF).
“The stocks from the buffer are released in the market in a calibrated and targeted manner to control prices. The disposal of tur from the PSF buffer is underway in a targeted and calibrated manner to augment the availability of stocks for milling into tur dal for the consumers. Stocks of chana and moong from the Price Support Scheme (PSS) and PSF buffer are continuously released in the market to moderate prices,” he added.
Apart from market disposal, pulses from the buffer are also being supplied to the states for their welfare schemes, and to the Army and Central Armed Police Forces.
He said that to augment domestic availability and moderate the prices of pulses, import of tur and urad have been kept under ‘Free Category’ till 31 March 2024 and import duty on masur has been reduced to zero till 31 March 2024.
“Import duty of 10% on tur has been removed to facilitate smooth and seamless imports.To prevent hoarding, stock limits has been imposed on tur and urad under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 on 2 June, 2023 for a period till 31 October, 2023,” he added.
Stock of pulses held by entities such as dealers, importers, millers and traders are continuously monitored through the online stock monitoring portal of the Department of Consumer Affairs.
This article has been republished from The Mint