New Delhi: The production of pulses in India declined due to adverse weather conditions and the government will import 5,000 tonnes of 'tur dal' (pigeon peas) to augment domestic availability, a union minister said on Wednesday.
"The upward trend in the prices of pulses is due to a decline in production on account of adverse weather conditions. All major varieties of pulses have shown an increase in price this current year," Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told the Lok Sabha in a reply.
"To augment domestic availability and stabilise prices of pulses, the government has taken a decision to import 5,000 metric tonnes of 'tur' dal," Paswan said.
The production of pulses decreased to 17.38 million tonnes during 2014-15 as against 19.25 million tonnes during 2013-14, registering a decline of 9.71 percent, the minister added.
Prices of 'tur' dal in the retail at an all-India level shot up from Rs.70.02 per kg in January to Rs.97.83 in the first week of July, as per official figures. The prices now have further shot up to around Rs.130 per kg.
The reason for this is corroborated by official data, which shows that production of tur dal during the current agriculture year (July 31, 2014, to June 30, 2015) is estimated to have fallen to 2.71 million tonnes from around 3.4 million tonnes during the previous year.
The government maintains that the situation will improve by the end of the kharif season, which started in June, with the area under pulses increasing to 56 lakh hectares as of July 17 this year, compared with 23.92 lakh hectares on the corresponding day last year.