The Government has taken a number of to improve the availability and to contain prices of essential food items. These include:-
• National Consultation Meeting of the minister of states/UTs in-charge of Consumer Affairs and Food held on 7thJuly, 2015 at New Delhi resolved to take steps to keep prices of essential commodities, especially Pulses and onion under control.
• Advisory were issued to State Governments to take strict action against hoarding & black marketing and effectively enforce the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 & the Prevention of Black-marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980.
• Regular review meeting on price and availability situation is being held at the highest level including at the level of Finance Minister, Committee of Secretaries, Inter Ministerial Committee, Price Stabilization Fund Management Committee and other Departmental level review meetings.
• Higher MSP has been announced so as to incentivize production and thereby enhance availability of food items which may help moderate prices.
• A Plan Scheme titled Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) is being implemented to regulate price volatility of agricultural commodities.
• Export of onion were restricted through imposition of Minimum Export Price (MEP) when prices were ruling high and import is allowed at zero duty.
• Retail sale of onion was undertaken from the stock held by SFAC and NAFED. • Imported 2000 MT of onion from Egypt and China through MMTC. As no demands from state were received, the onion were disposed off through tender in the open market.
• The stock limits in respect of onion have been extended by one more year i.e. up to 2nd July 2016 under the Essential Commodities Act.
• Procurement of 15000 MT of onion by SFAC and NAFED for market intervention during lean period has been approved.
• 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.
• Export of edible oils in bulk is prohibited except coconut oil and other edible oils in branded consumer packs of up to 5 kgs is permitted with a minimum export price of USD 900 per MT.
• MSP increased for various rabi and kharif oil seeds.
This information was given by the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan in a written reply in Rajya Sabha on Friday.