Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Government is monitoring rising pulse prices and states have been told to act against hoarders, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday after Cabinet meeting.
In a separate statement, the consumer affair ministry had said earlier that the government has created a stock of 50,000 tonnes of pulses and state governments have been asked to place their demand for timely release of stock for retail distribution.
Despite several steps, pulses prices are expected to remain firm this year as well because production is unlikely to increase significantly because of drought for the second straight year.
As per the Agriculture Ministry's second estimate, pulses production is estimated at 17.33 million tonnes in 2015-16 crop year (July-June), marginally higher than the previous years production of 17.15 million tonnes.
India is the world's largest producer of pulses, but its domestic demand outstrips production. The shortfall is met through imports.
Meanwhile, as per the Wholesale Price Index data for March, released on Monday, prices of pulses continued to remain high -- up 34.45 percent from year-ago levels -- making it the 15th straight month of double-digit inflation in lentils, though several other essential kitchen staples have seen moderation in rates.
With Agency Inputs