Sitting on a huge stock, the Centre decided to sell nearly 3.5 million tonnes of pulses to states at Rs 15 per kg lower price than the wholesale rate for distribution under PDS and other welfare schemes, costing exchequer Rs 5,237 crore, reported PTI.
The decision in this regard was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Centre will provide 3.48 million tonnes of pulses to state governments from its stock procured under the price support schemes (PSS), it added.
"Under this approved Scheme, the States/UT Governments are offered to lift 34.88 lakh tonnes of tur, chana, masoor, moong and urad at discount of Rs 15 per kg over the prevailing wholesale market price of the sourcing state on first come first serve basis," an official statement said.
This will be one-time dispensation for a period of 12 months or complete disposal of 34.88 lakh tonnes of pulses stock, whichever is earlier, it added.
"Government will spend Rs 5,237 crore for implementation of this scheme," said Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad after the Cabinet meeting.
The states/UTs can utilise pulses for supply through ration shops and other welfare schemes such as mid-day meal, integrated child development programme, among others.
As pulse prices fell after record production in last two years, the Union Agriculture Ministry decided to intervene in the market to procure dals at the minimum support price (MSP) to protect farmers' interest. Under the PSS, it procured 4.54 million tonnes of pulses.
The ministry is selling pulses from its stock to clear storage space for coming Kharif harvest when it might have to buy more stock under the PSS in view of higher production following sharp hike in MSP.