The Union cabinet on Thursday decided to provide a discount of Rs 15 per kilogram on pulses over wholesale market prices to states for distribution under various welfare schemes.
“The decision will enable the states/UTs to use pulses in various welfare schemes like PDS, Mid-Day Meal Scheme etc, besides making available the warehouses, which may be required in the coming Kharif season for storage of commodities procured under Price Support Scheme,” an official release said.
Under this approved scheme, states and UTs will be offered to lift 34.88 lakh tonnes of tur, chana, masoor, moong and urad at a discount of Rs 15 per kilogram over the prevailing wholesale market price on first come first serve basis. This will be one-time dispensation for a period of 12 months or complete disposal of 34.88 lakh tonnes of pulses stock, whichever is earlier.
“Government will spend Rs 5,237 crore for implementation of this scheme,” said law and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said after the cabinet meeting.
The country has witnessed all time high production of pulses during the last two years. The center, under price support scheme, has made record procurement of of 45.43 lakh MT of pulses during Kharif 2017 and Rabi 2018 marketing season, the release said.
In the coming Kharif season, pulses production is expected to be good, it said, adding that this coupled with increase in minimum support price will require additional procurement under price support scheme.