The Maharashtra government has written to the Centre seeking assistance to keep the spiralling price of pulses, specially tur dal, under control. A letter has been sent to Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh about the sharp increase in prices of cereals and pulses.
The price of tur dal (yellow pulse) has crossed Rs 110 per kg from Rs 70, and the steep rise was attributed to a 35 per cent shortfall in production. Maharashtra is the second highest producer of tur dal in the country.
“The drought, coupled with recurring hailstorm had adversely hit overall food production. Production was worst hit due to climate changes and poor rainfall,” Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Eknath Khadse said.
Production of pulses in Marathwada and parts of Vidarbha, areas worst hit by drought, had been already affected. The recurring unseasonal rainfall had damaged pulses and cereals like jowar, bajra in the state.
There is enough food grain stock in the country though pulses are seeing an overall shortage. There are indications that pulses will be imported, if needed. The state has sought a higher supply of pulses looking at the dip in production in the state.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, asked about the situation, said there was enough food grain stock though pulses were a matter of concern. He added that prices of pulses were rising across the country.
He added, “There is no reason to panic. There is adequate food grain stock. Yes, prices of pulses are going up…”
“The onset of monsoon will bring relief and stabilise overall prices of food grains and vegetables. The shortfall in pulse production has affected prices across the country,” Fadnavis said.
The government has also ordered a watch on any hoarding of food grains.
Sources in the union agriculture ministry said that with prices of pulses and edible oil increasing across the country, almost all the states are looking at the Centre’s help to tackle the crisis.
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