Speed Post News Network

New Delhi : Food Cooperation of India (FCI) and state agencies are all set to procure a record quantity of 742 LMT paddy during the ongoing Kharif crop season as against 627 LMT paddy last year. The number of purchase centres for Kharif 2020-21 have also been increased from 30,709 to 39,122. Stating this at a media interaction, Piyush Goyal, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister also said that the procurement season had been advanced to September 26, 2020, in view of the early arrival of paddy in the market.

Goyal also spoke about the proactive steps taken to ensure affordable onions. The steps taken to moderate crisis include Proactive ban on onion export is imposed since September 14,  2020. DGFT  is facilitating import by private players. The Essential Commodities Act is invoked for onion stock limit of 25MT for wholesaler and 2MT for retailer, w.e.f. October 23, 2020. The Export of onion seeds is prohibited from 2020 and the disposal of onion from buffer stock is being done  to provide relief to the people in view of the soaring onion prices.

Goyal also said that the steps are being taken to moderate potato prices. The import duty on potato was earlier 30%. Now, quota of 10 LMT @10% duty for import of potato till January 31, 20221, has been notified, he added.

Similarly, steps have been taken to moderate the prices of pulses. There has been retail intervention in three pulses, viz. Moong, Urad and Tur Dal by supplying pulses from buffer stocks to States/UTs. 2 LMT of Tur from the buffer stock is to be disposed through open market sale in the next 15 days, according to a PIB release.