The National Democratic Alliance government plans to increase the supply of essentials food items like pulses and tomatoes with the help of buffer stocks and imports, reported NDTV. The decision was taken on Wednesday when Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met agriculture, food, urban development and commerce ministers and their secretaries to discuss the rising prices.
Prices of pulses have been flagged as a cause for major concern. Supply of these crops have been badly hit because of below average monsoons for the past two years. The country needs around 22 million tonnes of crops a year, while it manages to produce only 17 million tonnes annually.
The Centre has decided to diligently maintain its buffer stock of one million tonnes of pulses as a fallback option by continuing to procure the crops from farmers and through imports. India has recently signed a deal with Myanmar to get pulses from the neighbouring country.
Tomatoes figured in the meeting as well after the price of the vegetable touched Rs 100 per kg in some parts of the country, like Hyderabad. The government has decided to strengthen the supply chain to deal with the paucity and thus control the price. "There are too many variations in prices of tomato as one moves between the place of production to the point of consumption. The government plans to improve the supply side constraints," the report said, quoting a government official. However, Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan held that the hike in tomato prices was a seasonal one.