Indian traders, processors cry foul as prices of pulses drop below MSP; want restricted imports to stop by March end

With prices of most pulses ruling below the minimum support price (MSP), processors and traders in India have demanded the government stop restricted imports of the commodity by end of this month.

India has imposed a quota of 5 million tonnes on annual import of pulses, which if not terminated, will add to the already mounting stocks in the country.

Domestic prices of most pulses such as tur, moong and chana, which are being currently harvested, are ruling below the MSP levels, leading to continuing farmer unrest in the growing areas

In August 2017, the government restricted import of tur, moong and urad. The free import of tur, moong and urad has been restricted by imposing quota of 2 million tonne import on tur, and 3 million tonne on moong and urad taken together.

Export of pulses, which was not allowed for more than a decade, was also freed up last year. However, both measures did not help much to support domestic prices.

According to government estimates, India imported 4.7 million tonnes of pulses between April 2017 and November 2017, which is 71% of what the country had imported during 2016-17 fiscal, and 80.8% of what it had imported in 2015-16 fiscal.

Uttara is a correspondent with Indoasiancommodities. You can write to her on uttara.malhotra@indoasiancommodities.in.

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