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India imports 3,000 tonnes of lentils to meet shortfall

New Delhi: The Indian Government has announced importing another 3,000 tonnes of food-grain due to acute shortage of pluses that has increased prices around 15% in the country.

A high-level meeting chaired by federal government Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha and secretaries of consumer affairs, agriculture and commerce ministries took the decision to import additional 3,000 tonnes of pulses.

The price rise has stretched consumers budgets as retail prices of split pigeon pea (yellow arhar or tuvar daal or lentils) have crossed Rs 200 (US $3.08) per kg, a Times of India report said, citing official data from Consumer Affairs Department.

Last week, the maximum retail price was Rs 185 per kg. Urad or split white lentils retailed as high as Rs 170 per kg on Monday.

The prices of pulses have increased abnormally in the last few months due to reduction in domestic production and also shortage across the globe, particularly in the case of tuvar, the report said

Government data shows split pigeon pea prices hovered around Rs 85 per kg in 2014. Over the last five years, retail prices or split pigeon pea were around Rs 74-85 per kg, official data shows.

Prices of pulses have sharply increased in the last few months due to a fall in India’s agricultural output by two million tonnes (mt) to 17.20 mt in 2014-15 due to deficient monsoon and unseasonable rains. Imports and government curbs on hoarding have failed to control prices of these two pulses. a Hindustan Times report said.

Opposition parties including Indian National Congress have criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan for the price rise saying “they had advanced estimates of low production of pulses”.

Source: http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/business/business-news/355648/india-imports-3-000-tonnes-of-lentils-to-meet-shortfall