The HRD Ministry has asked states to explore the option of procuring tur dal from the country’s buffer stock after the food ministry urged it to include it in midday meals and hostel mess menus, the Lok Sabha was told on Monday. “The Committee of Secretaries (COS) in the meeting for disposal of tur from the government buffer stock recommended that HRD may firm up their requirement of the pulse,” minister of state for HRD, Upendra Kushwaha, said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
The recommendation has been communicated to all the states, he said. The minister said a few states had shown an interest, but on the condition that the price of the dal would be lower than that in the market. “The HRD Ministry has requested the Department of Consumer Affairs to furnish, state-wise, the price of processed tur dal and the policy on price volatility so that the states may procure it,” he added.
With sacks full of tur dal in its stock, the food ministry had approached the HRD Ministry to include it in midday meals (MDM) and college hostel mess menus. However, officials in the HRD Ministry had earlier expressed reservations about the idea, saying it could not dictate food choices in hostels across the country and that the inclusion of tur dal in MDM would lead to an increase in the cost per student, considering its higher prices.