Concerned over crash in prices of some oilseeds and pulses, a group of ministers headed by Union minister Nitin Gadkari today discussed regulating imports of sunflower oil, groundnut oil and yellow dals to ensure local prices remain above the MSP level.
Wholesale prices of sunflower seeds and groundnut, from which edible oils are made, have crashed below minimum support price (MSP) in most growing states at present. Import of these edible oils and even yellow dal is depressing local prices.
"We discussed about the pulses and oilseeds issue in the interest of farmers," Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told reporters after the meeting.
As an immediate solution, it was decided in the meeting that the Agriculture Ministry will step up procurement of farm commodities under its Price Support Scheme (PSS) in the ongoing season, official sources said.
Already, the ministry has approved procurement of some pulses and oilseeds in 3-4 states like Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
The meeting also deliberated on the proposal to raise import duty on the two edible oils and yellow dals to protect domestic farmers. A final call, however, will be taken by a Committee of Secretaries, the sources said.
A large quantity of yellow dal from countries like Canada and the US is arriving into the country, putting pressure on pulses prices. Similarly, animal-feed soyabean oilcake is also being imported in huge quantity.
With regard to disposal of buffer stock of 18 lakh tonnes of pulses, the food ministry proposed milling of 10 lakh tonnes of tur dal to improve shelf life and gradually sell it on the need basis to various organisations.
The government in August hiked import duty on crude palm oil to 15 per cent from 7.5 per cent and on refined to 25 per cent from 15 per cent to curb cheaper shipments. Industry body SEA has been demanding hike in import duty of these oils.
Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and secretaries from Food, Consumer and Agriculture Ministries, among others, were present in the meeting.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)