Centre provides 1.5 mn tonnes of chana at discount for states’ programmes
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved allocating 1.5 million tonnes of chana (gram) at a discount of Rs 8 per kg for states to distribute through their welfare programmes.
The Centre, which has an inventory of around 3.1 million tonnes of chana, will incur an expenditure of Rs 1,200 crore. It also raised the procurement ceiling for tur, urad and masur under the Price Support Scheme (PSS) from 25 to 40—a decision meant to benefit growers. PSS, an Agriculture Ministry programme, is operationalised when prices of agri-produce fall below the minimum support price (MSP), while Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) is a fund under the Food Ministry for purchasing commodities when prices fall below MSP.
“This will be a one-time dispensation for a period of 12 months or till complete disposal of 1.5 million tonne stock of chana whichever is earlier,” said the central government in a statement.
The decision to dispose of chana will clear space of warehouses, which may be required in the coming Rabi season for accommodating fresh stocks procured under the PSS. In recent times, the country has witnessed an all-time high production of chana, especially during the last three years.
The Centre, under the PSS, has made record procurement of chana during the rabi season of 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 crop years. Due to this, 3.1 million tonnes of chana is available with the government under the PSS and PSF.
The government said its expects chana production to be good in the coming rabi season. Coupled with an increase in the MSP of chana during the 2022-23 crop year, this will entail additional procurement under the PSS.
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