Measures To Contain Prices of Essential Food Items

IAS Prelims 2023

General Measures:

Ø National Consultation Meeting held with States/UTs in-charge of Consumer Affairs and Food held on 7th July, 2015, at New Delhi resolved to take steps to keep prices of essential commodities, especially pulses and onions under control.

Ø Advisories issued to State Governments to take strict action against hoarding & black marketing and effectively enforce the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and the Prevention of Black-marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980.

Ø Regular review meeting on price and availability situation is being held at the highest level to monitor the price situation and recommend appropriate interventions.

Ø Measures taken to improve availability by incentivizing production through higher Minimum Export Price (MSP).

Ø A new Plan Scheme titled Price Stabalization Fund (PSF) is being implemented to regulate price volatility of agricultural commodities.

current affairsSpecific Measures:


Ø Export of onion is restricted through Minimum Export Price (MEP) and presently the MEP is USD 700 MT w.e.f. 24.8.2015. Import duty of onion is allowed at zero duty.

Ø Imported 2000 MT of onion from Egypt and China through MMTC. As no demand from states were received, the onion is being disposed through tenders in the open market.

Ø SFAC and NAFED were provided funding support during this year through PSF Scheme of Department of Agriculture, Co-operation & Farmers Welfare for creating stock during harvest season. Retail sale of onion was undertaken from the stock held by SFAC and NAFED during the lean season to improve availability and moderate the prices.

Ø The stock limits in respect of onion has been extended by one more year i.e. up to 2nd July 2016 under the Essential Commodities Act.


Ø Authorized States/Union Territories to impose stock limit on pulses and the same has been extended up to 30.9.2016.

Ø Advisories to States/Union Territories issued to take action against hoarding & black marketing and effectively enforce the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 & the Prevention of Black-marketing Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980.

Ø As per the information provided by State Governments, 14134 raids have been conducted in 14 States resulting in seizure of 130606 tonnes of pulses (as on 03.12.2015) to arrest the rising prices of pulses.

Ø Ban on export of pulses imposed with effect from June 22, 2006, except for Kabuli Chana and organic pulses & Lentils up to a maximum of 10000 tonnes a year.

Ø Extension of zero import duty on all pulses till 30.09.2016 except for Chickpeas and Lentils which will be reviewed during December, 2015.

Ø Import of 5000 tonnes of Tur was undertaken by the Government through Price Stabilization Fund Scheme of Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare. It was allocated to States based on requests received from State Governments.

Ø To incentivize production, higher Minimum Support Price (MSP) has been announced for both Kharif and Rabi pulses for 2015-16. Accordingly, for Kharif season, MSP (including bonus) has been increased by Rs 275 from Rs 4350 to Rs 4625 per quintal for both Arhar and Urad, and by Rs 200 from Rs 4650 to Rs 4850 per quintal for Moong respectively. For Rabi season, the increase (including bonus) has been by Rs 325 from Rs 3175 to Rs 3500 per quintal for Gram and from Rs 3075 to Rs 3400 per quintal for Masoor respectively.