The Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan today critically and minutely examined the production, availability, consumption pattern, import and export of all pulses, oilseeds and Onions with senior officials from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Agriculture, Commerce and NAFED.
Addressing the media after the review meeting, Shri Paswan stated that prices are likely to remain stable and there is ample availability of all pulses, oilseeds and onions in the country. Shri Paswan said that the total availability of pulses was 317 lakh tonnes in 2018-19, out of which 280 lakh tonnes have been consumed and we have 37 lakh tonnes of pulses available at present. Apart from this, the production of pulses is estimated to be 260 lakh tonnes and import of 10 lakh tonnes is estimated this year. A total of 307 lakh tonnes of pulses will be available with the government in the current year, of which 290 lakh tonnes is estimated to be consumed. Thus we have no shortage of pulses. The Minister also asserted if hoarding occurs anywhere, the government will take strong measures against it.
Shri Paswan further added that there is no shortage of edible oils either. The country produced 103 lakh tonnes of oil in 2016-17, while the demand was 250 lakh tonnes. 146 lakh tonnes of oil was imported. This time also the production of oil is expected to be 103 lakh tonnes and demand is 250 lakh tonnes. The shortage of edible oil will be bridged by imports. Oil prices in the market are also almost stable compared to last year.
The Union Minister said that the price situation is being closely monitored and if necessary, suitable action will be taken to ensure that all essential commodities are available to the consumers at a reasonable price. Shri Paswan further said that 50,000 MT Onion buffer is available with NAFED and State governments can exercise the option of buying from the central government buffer to increase their supply according to their requirement.