After almost 10 years, the government has removed restrictions on export of all types of pulses.
Some months earlier, restrictions were lifted on export
of tur (red gram), urad (black gram) and moong (green gram) but kept for chana (Bengal gram) and masur (red lentil). At present, the latter two have more demand in global markets, say traders. The biggest markets for Indian pulses are in West Asia and North Africa.
“This will help farmers dispose of their products at remunerative prices and encourage them to expand the area of sowing,” said law and information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told journalists after the meet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs also empowered the committee headed by the food and public distribution secretary to review the export
and import policy on pulses to consider, whenever needed, measures such as quantitative restrictions, prior registration and changes in import duties.
Pravin Dongre, chairman, India Pulses and Grains Association, said the opening of all export
would benefit the entire value chain, of farmers, processors and also end-consumers.
“It will correct price distortions, offer support to pulses selling below the (government's) Minimum Support Price and revitalise the milling industry. We believe this potentially open up greater investments in the sector,” he said.
The 2016-17 harvested is estimated at a record of a little over 22 million tonnes, due to good rain. In 2017-18, despite a slight break in the southwest monsoon, the country is projected to harvest a good crop of pulses. Kharif output is estimated at 8.71 mt, almost the same as a year before. Prices have dropped to Rs 2,000-2,500 a quintal, below the MSP for many, though the government has been buying.