Centre has huge stock of chana dal, ready to offer to states

NEW DELHI: The Centre has nearly 13 lakh tonnes of excess stock of pulses over the strategic reserve norms and a large chunk of the overall stock is chana dal (gram). Sources said with more than comfortable reserve for any market intervention, the Centre is ready to supply the chana dal to states if they send any requests. TOI has learned that the government is looking at the options to liquidate the excess stock.

“First, we need to get requests from states for getting pulses from the Central pool. The prices of pulses have been under control and sliding, which is a positive sign,” said a government official. Industry analysts also said considering that the shelf life of chana dal is around 9-10 months, the government will have to liquidate the pulses that were procured last year.

Currently, against the buffer stock norm of 23 lakh tonnes, the government-owned agriculture cooperative, NAFED has 36 lakh tonnes of pulses. Officials said nearly 27 lakh tonne of this total stock is of chana only. The stocks are less so far as other pulses are concerned. For example, the total stock of moong dal is 1.1 lakh tonnes, followed by tur (arhar) at 90,000 tonnes and urad (20,000 tonnes).

In 2017-18, the government had offered pulses to the states at a discounted price, which was lower than the procurement cost. This was aimed at making the availability of pulses to people under welfare programme such as public distribution system, mid-day meal and integrated child development schemes.