Steps to contain the prices of pulses



Steps to contain the prices of pulses
  
  The recent rise in prices of pulses is mainly on account of shortfall in domestic production due to adverse weather conditions and increase in demand because of rise in population and per capita income and change in food habits. As speculation, cartelization, black-marketing/hoarding also put pressure on prices, domestic searches and surveys have been conducted on a number of importers, traders and financiers engaged in the pulses trade. This information was given by the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.


  The Minister said that the Government has advised States/UTs to put in place a mechanism for regular collection of data/information on stocks of pulses being held by dealers for effective implementation of Stock limits.

  He said that the Government has regularly issued advisories to States/UTs for strict enforcement of the Essential Commodities (EC) Act, 1955 and the Prevention of Black-marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities  (PBMMSEC) Act, 1980.States/UTs have been conducting raids and seized pulses are being disposed, as per the provisions under the EC Act, 1955.

Following steps have been taken by the Government to contain prices of pulses ;

·         Export of all pulses is banned except kabuli channa and up to 10,000 MTs in organic pulses and lentils.

·         Import of pulses are allowed at zero import duty.

·         Stock limit on pulses extended till 30.9.2016. 

·         Government imported 5000 MT of Tur from Malawi/Mozambique and allocated it to States for retail sale to consumers to improve availability and to moderate prices.

·         MSP (including bonus) raised for kharif pulses for Tur and Urad and Moong. MSP also raised for Rabi pulses for Gram and Masoor.

·         Government has approved creation of buffer stock of 1.5 lakh MT of pulses for effective market intervention.

·         Government has decided to immediately release 10,000 MT of pulses from the buffer stock (consisting of 8,000 MT of Tur and 2,000 MT of Urad) to States/UTs at subsidized rates for retailing by them at not more than Rs 120/- per kg to improve availability and stabilise prices.

·         Regulatory measures by  Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Chana contracts including increase in the margin requirement to discourage speculation and to moderate the price volatility in forward market and close monitoring by SEBI

·         Strict vigilance by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence to prevent importers from mis-using the facilities of Customs Bonded Warehouse facility

·         Setting up of a Group of Officers for regular monitoring and exchange of information on hoarding, cartelization etc.

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   The National Food Security Act implemented in 33 States/UTs 

The National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) is already being implemented in 33 States/UTs. Out of the remaining three States, Tamil Nadu had, in September, 2015, requested to extend the process of implementation of NFSA in the State by at least one year. The Government of Kerala has informed that the State Government will be able to implement NFSA only after conclusion of the ongoing State Assembly Election process. Government of Nagaland has indicated implementation of the Act from June-July, 2016. These remaining States are required to implement the Act at the earliest. This information was given by the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

The Minister said that the State Government of Tamil Nadu had requested for a provision to assure that the existing allocation of foodgrains is not reduced. The Act already provides that if annual allocation of foodgrains to any State, on the basis of coverage for the State and foodgrains entitlement under the Act, is less than the average annual offtake of foodgrains during 2010-11 to 2012-13, under normal Targeted Public Distribution System, the same shall be protected at prices as determined by the Central Government. 

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National Helpline for consumers
The Department of Consumer Affairs operates a National Consumer Helpline to advise, guide and provide information to consumers in resolution of their complaints with regard to defective goods and deficient services. A number of complaints are received in the National Consumer Helpline concerning various companies relating to defective goods / deficiency in services. National Consumer Helpline has partnered with more than two hundred companies as part of the convergence initiative and forwards the complaints to these companies for resolution of complaints by them. 53185 complaints were forwarded by the National Consumer Helpline to convergence companies and responses received from them were 82% during the period April 2015 to March 2016. This information was given by the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

The Minister said that the Consumer Protection Bill 2015 has already been introduced in the Lok Sabha on 10th August, 2015. In the proposed legislation, the definition of consumer has been broadened to include the transactions made through any mode, inclusive of offline, online through electronic means, teleshopping or direct selling or multi-level marketing. 

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Government provides Food subsidy of Rs 1,34,919 crore during 2015-16
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       


  
Foodgrains at subsidized prices is made available by Food Corporation of India (FCI) to the States/UTs under National Food Security Act (NFSA), as well as erstwhile Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), and the food subsidy is released to FCI. Only in the case of States participating in the Decentralized Procurement (DCP), under which State Governments take the responsibility of procurement of foodgrains and its distribution to the eligible households, the food subsidy is released to State Governments. This information was given by the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

Subsidy released to FCI and State Governments during 2015-16:
FCI/States/UTs
Subsidy released (in Rs crore)
A.
Food Corporation of India
1,12,000
B.
States/UTs
1.       
Andhra Pradesh
1,364.25
2.       
Bihar
2,540.92
3.       
Chhattisgarh
3,328.93
4.       
Gujarat
55.57
5.       
Kerala
834.42
6.       
Madhya Pradesh
5,737.29
7.       
Odisha
3,331.39
8.       
Punjab
300.00
9.       
Rajasthan
155.11
10.   
Tamil Nadu
936.89
11.   
Telangana
1,390.08
12.   
Uttarakhand
408.67
13.   
West Bengal
2,465.87
14.   
Chandigarh *
14.31
15.   
Puducherry *
54.59
16.   
Dadra and Nagar Haveli *
0.71

Total (B)
22,919.00

Grand Total (A+B)
1,34,919.00

            * Cash transfer under Direct Benefit Transfer Mode
The Minister said that Central Government also provides Central assistance to States/UTs under NFSA for meeting the expenditure on intra-State movement and handling of foodgrains and fair price shop dealers’ margin. State-wise details of Central assistance released during 2015-16 is:


Sl No.
Name of State/UT
Amount released
(in lakh)
1.       
Andaman & Nicobar Islands
4.55
2.       
Chandigarh
31.11
3.       
Dadra & Nagar Haveli
3.79
4.       
Daman & Diu
12.63
5.       
Delhi
35.03
6.       
Goa
56.40
7.       
Lakshdweep
13.89
8.       
Mizoram
31.72
9.       
Sikkim
89.89

Total   
279.01
 
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About 66 lakh bogus ration cards deleted after digitization of cards

  
   The Government is perusing ‘End-to-end Computerization of TPDS Operations’ which comprises of activities namely, digitization of ration cards/beneficiary and other databases, computerization of supply-chain management, setting up of transparency portals and grievance redressal mechanisms etc. As reported by States/UTs, total 65,99,129 bogus/ineligible ration cards have been deleted during the last three years after computerization. This information was given by the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan in a written reply in Lok Sabha today. 
   The Minister said that Due to constant monitoring of the project through meetings, Video Conferences, visits, letters and advisories with States/UTs to review their progress/problems faced etc. There have been significant achievements in implementation of the project. State wise status of End-to-End Computerization of TPDS Operations is as follows:

States/UTs
Digitization    of Ration Cards
Aadhaar Seeding in Ration Cards
Online Allocation
Supply-chain Management
Transparency Portal
Online Grievance Redressal
Toll Free Helpline Numbers
Andaman & Nicobar
100%
100%
Partial
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
Andhra Pradesh
100%
100%
Implemented
Implemented
Yes
Yes
Yes
Arunachal Pradesh
100%
0.71%
-
-
Yes
-
Yes
Assam
100%
0%
Implemented
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
Bihar
100%
0.06%
Implemented
Implemented
Yes
Yes
Yes
Chandigarh
100%
100%
NA
NA
Yes
Yes
Yes
Chhattisgarh
100%
100%
Implemented
Implemented
Yes
Yes
Yes
Dadra & Nagar Haveli
100%
70%
-
-
Yes
-
Yes
Daman & Diu
100%
91%
Implemented
-
Yes
-
Yes
Delhi
100%
100%
Implemented
Implemented
Yes
Yes
Yes
Goa
100%
96%
Implemented
Implemented
Yes
Yes
Yes
Gujarat
100%
71%
Implemented
Implemented
Yes
Yes
Yes
Haryana
100%
86%
Implemented
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
Himachal Pradesh
100%
95%
-
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
Jammu and Kashmir
100%
59%
Partial
-
Yes
-
Yes
Jharkhand
100%
73%
Implemented
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
Karnataka
100%
47%
Implemented
Implemented
Yes
-
Yes
Kerala
100%
95%
-
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
Lakshadweep
100%
79%
-
NA
Yes
Yes
Yes
Madhya Pradesh
100%
51%
Implemented
Implemented
Yes
Yes
Yes
Maharashtra
100%
70%
Implemented
-
Yes
-
Yes
Manipur
100%
0.36%
-
-
Yes
-
Yes
Meghalaya
100%
0%
-
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
Mizoram
100%
0.25%
-
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
Nagaland
100%
0.41%
-
-
Yes
-
Yes
Odisha
100%
65%
Implemented
Implemented
Yes
Yes
Yes
Puducherry
100%
95%
NA
NA
Yes
Yes
Yes
Punjab
100%
89%
Implemented
-
Yes
Yes
-
Rajasthan
100%
94%
-
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
Sikkim
100%
67%
Implemented
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
Tamil Nadu
100%
4%
Implemented
Implemented
Yes
Yes
Yes
Telangana
100%
100%
Implemented
Implemented
Yes
Yes
Yes
Tripura
100%
88%
Implemented
Implemented
Yes
-
Yes
Uttar Pradesh
100%
35.61%
Implemented
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
Uttarakhand
100%
40%
Implemented
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
West Bengal
100%
58%
Implemented
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
100%
53.04%
24
12
36
27
35
 

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