The country has imported 27.48 lakh tonnes of pulses in the April-October period this fiscal to meet domestic demand, the government said on Wednesday. Total imports of pulses by private sector and the government agencies stood at 27,48,473 tonnes, Minister of State for Food and Consumer Affairs C R Chaudhary said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
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India had imported 57.97 lakh tonnes of pulses in the previous fiscal, according to the data placed by the minister. “The government has approved creation of buffer stock of up to 20 lakh tonnes of pulses through domestic procurement and imports. Pulses for buffer are procured at market price if the prevailing market price is above minimum support price (MSP) and at MSP if market price is below MSP,” he said.
To build buffer stock, Chaudhary said the government, through MMTC and STC, has contracted import of 4.06 lakh tonnes of pulses, of which 81,985 tonnes has arrived in the country.
Pulses production fell to 16.5 million tonnes in the 2015-16 crop year (July-June) due to poor monsoon last year. However, the government is targeting 20.75 million tonnes of pulses production this year on account of good monsoon. It expects 13.5 million tonnes of output from the ensuing rabi season while 8.7 million tonnes is estimated to have been harvested in the just-completed kharif season.