Last month, the government extended the duration to import tur and the low import duty on masur till December 31, and offloaded chana in the market to bring down the prices of these commodities. The mill gate and retail price of tur dal had touched Rs 120/kg and Rs 150/kg, respectively.
Ex-mill price of top-quality tur dal in Latur has declined from Rs 120/kg to Rs 100/kg since the government announced extension in the duration to import tur from November 15 to December 31.
The government has also started selling tur to the states through the public distribution system.
The central government recently renewed the bilateral agreement with Mozambique for import of tur dal for another five years, committing India to import 200,000 tonnes of the commodity every year.
“Various measures announced by the government changed the market sentiments, reducing the demand for pulses in the market. This has helped cool down prices,” said Nitin Kalantry, a pulses processor from Maharashtra.
Of the 400,000 tonnes of tur import allowed till December 31, about 325,000 tonnes are expected to arrive in the country in addition to the 200,000 tonnes allowed from Mozambique.
Meanwhile, prices of chana dal have also stabilised, mainly due to subdued Diwali demand and no extension of the PM’s Garib Kalyan Yojana, under which chana was being distributed among the poor, helping support chana prices. This month, the government has also extended the low import duty of 10% imposed on masur till December 31.
Although these measures have helped tame the rising prices of pulses ahead of Assembly election in Bihar, the industry is worried over the sudden policy changes. At harvest time, the excessive imports are likely to suppress farmers’ margins.
“The government gave a very small window for import of tur, moong and urad, which led to rise in prices of these pulses in the world, benefitting farmers and traders in other countries,” Hemal Shah, a pulses processor from Gujarat, said at the All India Dal Millers Association meeting on Sunday. “We request the government to announce the import policy for pulses for an entire year so that traders and consumers do not suffer.”