The retail prices of Moong and Urad in April, 2020 increased by 26.75% and 7.25% respectively as compared to their five-year monthly average prices. Prices are inter-alia affected by mismatch in demand and supply, shortfall in production owing to adverse weather conditions, seasonality, increased transportation costs, supply chain constraints like lack of storage facilities, artificial shortage created by hoarding and black marketing, etc.
The Government has taken various measures from time to time to stabilize prices of pulses which, inter-alia, include appropriately utilizing trade and fiscal policy instruments to suit domestic requirement and moderate prices. Further, calibrated releases from buffer stock of pulses through supply to States/UTs for utilization under their welfare schemes and open market sales are anticipated to moderate pulses price volatility and discourage hoarding and unscrupulous speculation that may arise on account of mismatch of demand and supply. States/UTs are also encouraged to undertake retail supply of pulses through fair price shops of PDS and their other marketing/retailing outlets. As part of Economic response to Covid-19, foodgrains are distributed at the rate of 5 kg per person per month, and pulses are distributed at the rate of 1 kg per household per month , free of cost, to all beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for the period of eight months from April to November 2020. In addition, foodgrains at the rate of 5 kg per person per month, and pulses at the rate of 1 kg per household are distributed, free of cost, to migrant workers who are not covered under NFSA for the period of two months, from April and May 2020. Distribution of foodgrains and pulses under PMGKAY and ANB have contributed to ensuring the availability of food items during lockdown and in controlling food inflation.
This information was given in a written reply by the Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution, Shri DanveRaosahebDadarao in Lok Sabha today.