THE MINISTER OF STATE (INDEPENDENT CHARGE) FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS, FOOD AND PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION (PROF. K. V. THOMAS)
(a) & (b): Wholesale and retail prices of all pulses increased during the first
half of 2006. To augment availability of pulses and check rise in prices,
designated public sector agencies were asked to import pulses including yellow peas.
(c) & (d): Pulses were imported under the 15% dispensation scheme and the scheme for
distribution under PDS. Losses incurred under the first scheme were reimbursed upto
15% of the landed cost. These losses were attributable to increase in the international
prices of pulses, depreciation of the Indian rupee, exchange rate fluctuations, lower sales
realization as compared to the landed cost of pulses, ocean freight charges and
the global meltdown. These factors were beyond the control of the importing
agencies which were importing pulses under Government directives to bridge
the gap between demand and supply of pulses in domestic market.
(e) & (f): The trend in wholesale and retail prices of pulses since 2007-08 show
three phases: one during 2007-08 when prices of pulses (except masur) were generally
stable or decreasing; the second phase during 2008-09 and 2009-10 when prices showed
an increasing trend due to factors such as the increase in international prices and
consequent lower imports, and the decline in domestic production due to drought;
and the third phase in 2010-11 and 2011-12 when prices again showed a fall except
prices of gram in 2011-12. To control prices of pulses, Government has taken several
measures to increase the domestic availability of pulses. These, inter alia, include
the following: various crop development schemes implemented to increase production
of pulses; import duty on pulses reduced to zero; export of pulses banned, except
export of kabuli chana, and 10,000 tonnes of organic pulses and lentils; stock
limit on pulses imposed; and futures trade in urad and tur banned. Government has
also operated two subsidy schemes for import of pulses.
(g) & (h): Out of a total quantity of approximately 21.12 lakh tonnes of imported
pulses that the four designated agencies disposed-off during December 2006 to March
2011 under the 15% dispensation scheme, 12.79 lakh tonnes were yellow peas that
constituted 60.56% of the total pulses disposed off. Under the scheme for distribution
of imported pulses through PDS, yellow peas constituted approximately 30.7% of a
total quantity of about 6.7 lakh tonnes of imported pulses supplied by the designated
agencies during November 2008 to March 2012.