Ease pulses import curbs: IPGA

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 09, 2020

Pulses body petitions govt for help as rains, floods have hit output

The government should remove restrictions on pulses imports as there is major shortfall in production in kharif season on account of heavy rains and floods, said India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA) on Thursday.

Production impacted

While tur output is not impacted much by the rains, production of urad and moong is expected to be down by up to 50 per cent and 30 per cent respectively, this year.

The production of tur this year is expected to be 35.4 lakh tonnes (lt) and that of urad and moong together is 38.5 lt as against 35.9 lt and 56.1 lt in 2018-19.

Considering the shortage in the country, the government should allow pulses to be imported without any restrictions. With curbs on quantity and import duties, the price of pulses would go up to ₹350 a kg, making it difficult for consumers to buy, said IPGA chairman Jitu Bheda.

Bheda and other IPGA officials were here to announce the forthcoming Pulses Conclave 2020 to be organised in Lonavala (Maharashtra) next month.

India has imported 21.4 lt of pulses in the current financial year till November 2019 and an import of another 8-9 lt is expected in the current fiscal, said Bimal Kothari, IPGA’s Vice-Chairman. In comparison, the total pulses import in 2018-19 was around 23.7 lt.

The government has so far allowed an import of 1.5 lt moong, 4 lt of urad and 1.5 lt of yellow peas.

Among the pulses, one crop which does not have floor price support is peas. While the total demand for peas is more than 15 lakh tonnes, the production is less as it doesn’t have minimum support price available, Kothari said.

As a result, there is a need for increasing the import of yellow peas. But, the government has capped the import of yellow peas at 1.5 lt, he said.

Pulses Conclave

Kothari said the Indian pulses industry contributes around $50 billion to the GDP and it is possible to expand it to $100 billion in the next 5-10 years. “The conclave would try to put together a roadmap that will help the Indian pulses trade to be able to contribute to the Prime Minister’s vision of making India a $5-trillion economy,” said IPGA CEO Pradeep Ghopade.

The meet — expected to attract 1,500 delegates from India and abroad — will have a special session on developing value-added products from pulses among other things.

“Proteins derived from pulses are currently a major hit world over. There is no reason why the Indian industry could also look at exploring such ideas,” said Kothari.

Published on January 09, 2020

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