The Centre on Wednesday raised the procurement ceiling for tur, urad and masur under the PSS scheme and also decided to dispose of 15 lakh tonne of chana procured under its two programmes to states at a discounted rate.

The decision in this regard was taken in the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Price Support Scheme (PSS), under the Agriculture Ministry, is operationalised only when prices of agri-produce fall below the minimum support price (MSP).

On the other hand, Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF), under the Food Ministry, commodities are purchased at market prices.

"CCEA has approved enhancement of ceiling on the quantity of procurement under PSS from existing 25 per cent to 40 per cent in respect of tur, urad and masur," an official statement said.

The CCEA also approved the disposal of chana to states and Union Territories at a discounted rate to be utilised for various welfare schemes from the stock procured under PSS and PSF.

The states will be offered to lift 15 lakh tonne of chana at a discount of ₹8 per kg over the issue price of the sourcing state on a first come first serve basis, it said.

The government will spend ₹1,200 crore for the implementation of this scheme, it added.

The states must use this chana in various welfare schemes like Mid-Day Meal, Public Distribution System (PDS), and Integrated Child Development Programmes (ICDP), among others.

"This will be one-time dispensation for a period of 12 months or till complete disposal of 15 lakh tonne stock of chana whichever is earlier," the government said.

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.

Recently, 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, 30.55 lakh tonne of chana is available with the government under the PSS and PSF.

In the coming rabi season also, the government said chana production is expected to be good. This coupled with an increase in the MSP of chana during the 2022-23 crop year will entail additional procurement under the PSS. PTI LUX BAL BAL

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