It has been seen in the last fortnight that despite nearing Kharif harvest season of Tur and Urad, the retail prices of these pulses have not only remained high as compared to last year, but also recorded a spurt recently. As on October 12, the all-India average retail price of Tur and Urad was observed to have increased by 23.71% and 39.10% respectively, over last year. Several consuming centers of these pulses have recorded an increase of over 20% during the past 15 days.
In order to moderate the retail prices of pulses, Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) had, in September, introduced a mechanism to supply pulses from the buffer stock to States/UTs through NAFED. It was decided that States/UTs would be supplied pulses in bulk and/or in retail packs for retail supply through fair price shops of PDS and other marketing/retail outlets of the State Government such as Dairy and Horticulture outlets, Consumers Cooperative Society outlets etc. To make the retail intervention impactful on the retail prices confronting the consumer, the offer price of pulses for retail intervention has been fixed on the basis of Minimum Support Price (MSP) or the Dynamic Reserve Price (DRP) whichever is lower.
Accordingly, Dhuli Urad is being offered to States/UTs for retail intervention @Rs.79 per kilo for K-18 (stock of Kharif-2018), and Rs.81 per kilo for K-19. Similarly, Tur is offered for retail intervention @ Rs. 85 per kilo. Till date, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Bihar and Tamil Nadu have placed their requirements for Tur for a total quantity of over approximately 1,00,000 MT. More States are expected to come forward in the near future.
Apart from this retail intervention, DoCA has also decided to release 40,000 MT of Tur from the buffer stock in Open Market Sale (OMS) in small lots so that the releases may reach the retail market at faster pace and help in cooling off rising prices.
The Government of India took the visionary step in 2016 for creating a buffer stock of pulses and onions, so that retail prices of these commodities could be moderated through a strategy of calibrated and targeted intervention. The objective is to obtain price data from all over the country and get real-time information of price trends, on the basis of which deployment from buffer stock is ensured.