The Centre on Monday approved the enhancing of buffer stock of pulses to 20 lakh tonnes so as to stabilise the prices and encourage farmers to scale up production.
“The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal of the Department of Consumer Affairs for increasing the buffer stock to 20 lakh tonnes. It will be built through domestic procurement and imports of 10 lakh tonnes each,” an official statement said.The government said the specific variety of pulses and their quantities for the buffer stock would be decided on the price and the availability. “The release of pulses from the buffer stock and procurement in the subsequent year will be based on the prevailing pulse [production] scenario as well as the buffer stock position. The requisite funds for this operation will be provided to the price stabilisation fund scheme (PSFMC) of the department,” added the statement.
To create the buffer stock, domestic procurement would be done by the Food Corporation of India, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) and Small Farmers’ Agriculture-Business Consortium (SFAC) or any other agency decided by the PSFMC at the prevailing market prices, if they are above the minimum support prices (MSP), and at the MSP, if otherwise. “The State governments may also be authorised to make the procurement in a manner similar to the decentralised procurement of foodgrains,” the statement said.