Pulse prices in domestic markets are retailing as high as Rs 198 per kg due to shortfall in the local output in the wake of two consecutive droughts.
According to sources, India has asked the Mozambique government if it can supply tur dal for the next five years on a government-to-government basis. India has offered to buy tur dal at the minimum support price (MSP) plus carrying and transportation cost. A draft proposal has been submitted to the African nation, which is yet to respond, they added.
The MSP of tur dal has been fixed at Rs 5,050 per quintal, which includes a bonus of Rs 200 for 2016-17 crop year (July-June). An Indian team headed by Consumer Affairs Secretary Hem Pande, recently visited the African nation to negotiate the long-term arrangement for tur dal supply.
After the visit, Pande said, "The delegation is back with long-term solution in sight. The final draft is awaiting response of the Mozambique government. The Government of India is expecting positive response as soon as possible." The talks were "positive" and the country's pulse supply would improve once the long-term arrangement is signed, he had said.
Mozambique grows around 70,000 tonnes pulses, mainly tur dal and some urad. The entire quantity is exported to India and for meeting NRI demand in other parts of world. Its rabi tur crop is expected to arrive by September-October.
India is also negotiating with Myanmar for the long-term supply of tur dal at similar rates and the latter is yet to respond. In the domestic market, retail pulse prices have risen unabated for more than a year and at present ruling close to Rs 200 per kg in view of 7-mt shortfall in domestic output following two drought years.
To tame price rise, the government is creating buffer stock of pulses of up to 8 lakh tonnes from domestic procurement and imports. It has imposed stock holding limits to check hoarding, banned chana futures and is also selling tur and urad at subsidised rates to give relief to consumers.
India's pulse output is estimated to be 17.06 mt in 2015-16 crop year (July-June), marginally lower than the previous year's production of 17.15 mt.