• Under a scheme devised by the Centre, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (Nafed) has sold over 5 lakh tonnes (lt) pulses to 10 States and a Union Territory at discounted rates, said Nafed Managing Director Sanjeev Kumar Chadha.
Key highlights of the scheme
• The scheme, approved by the Centre in October last year, was meant to achieve two objectives.
• Making pulses available to poor people at affordable rates and reduction of the sale of pulses, procured by the government procurement agencies, in the open market as it often brings down the mandi prices of freshly harvested crop, which in turn is against the interests of farmers.
• The government has set aside 34.88 lt of pulses for this scheme which will run for a year.
• The targeted beneficiaries are those who receive beneficiary schemes such as public distribution system, Integrated Child Development Services scheme and National Nutrition Mission.
• Pulses are available to the targeted beneficiaries at half the retail price,” Chadha told a select group of journalists on Saturday.
• These are the people who cannot afford to buy pulses at ₹60 or ₹80 a kg. But they get them at prices in the range of ₹30 a kg.
• The subsidised price is ₹15 lower than the weighted average mandi price of any of the pulses.
• If the sale has to be carried out in Bhopal, Nafed will take the weighted average of the pulses in all mandis in and around 100 km of Bhopal for one week before the sale to arrive at the discounted price.
• The State has to pay for transport, milling, packing and distribution. It still works out much cheaper.
• The loss incurred by Nafed for the scheme is around ₹4,500 crore, which will be paid through Price Stabilisation Fund of the Centre.
• According to Sunil Kumar Singh, Additional Managing Director of Nafed, while Maharashtra is distributing chana dal and urad dal at ₹35 a kg, Karnataka is distributing tur dal at ₹38 a kg.
Clearing buffer stocks
• Nafed procured a total of 51.6 lt of pulses from farmers, but managed to dispose of only 13.7 The new scheme, the Nafed officials hoped, would help them to clear the rest 37.9 lt lying in its stock.
• The agriculture cooperative major is also in talks with other States such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.
• He hoped that these States would commence a similar programme in the States very soon.
• There is no limit on how much a State can buy from Nafed under the scheme, but they need to distribute the pulses only through welfare schemes and should produce the evidence.
• According to Chadha, the scheme is already having significant impact on lifting the market prices.
• The mandi prices of pulses have already increased on an average by ₹300-1,000 a quintal in different markets, even though it was just two and a half months since it was launched, he said.
Mains Paper 3: Economy
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