CCEA to consider Thursday sale of pulses, cooking oil via PDS

CCEA to consider Thursday sale of pulses, cooking oil via PDS New Delhi: To protect BPL families from price shocks due to supply constraints, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) is likely to consider on Thursday a proposal to relaunch a scheme to supply imported pulses at a highly subsidised rate for next six months.

The CCEA may also take up a proposal to extend a scheme for distribution of imported edible oils at subsided rate to BPL families for one more year and also extension of ban on export of edible oils, according to sources.

"The scheme for supply of imported pulses at subsidised rate under PDS for BPL category was discontinued in June, this year. Now, we are planning to relaunch the scheme considering an estimated fall in kharif production," sources said.

The proposal to relaunch the new scheme is expected to be discussed in the meeting of CCEA Thursday, sources said.

In the new scheme, the Food Ministry has proposed the Centre would give a higher subsidy of Rs 20 per kg from Rs 10 a kg in the earlier scheme. Around 4 lakh tonnes of imported pulses would be supplied to BPL families under this scheme, sources added.

The proposed scheme will be effective during this fiscal.

That apart, the Food Ministry has also proposed to extend a scheme for distribution of edible oil through the Public Distribution System at a subsidy of Rs 15 per kg to individual states for one year till October 30, 2013, sources said.

About 10 lakh tonnes of imported edible oil would be distributed under this scheme, sources added.

The schemes for pulses and edible oil are aimed at protecting BPL (Below Poverty Line) consumers as retail prices of these two commodities are expected to be under pressure in the wake of a possible fall in production.

According to the government's first estimate, pulses production in the kharif (summer) season is expected to be lower at 5.26 million tonnes, as against 6.16 million tonnes in the year-ago. Similarly, oilseeds output is pegged lower at 18.7 million tonnes in the review period.

Currently, various kinds of pulses are available in the retail market in a price range of Rs 60-80 per kg in most parts of the country.

Sources also mentioned that the CCEA is expected to approve a 12th Five Year Plan scheme that aims to strengthen PDS through digitising ration cards with an outlay of around Rs 900 crore for the current fiscal on a cost-sharing basis.