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Dal millers ask government to allow export of pulses

PUNE: A delegation of dal millers met commerce minister Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday, requesting him to allow exports of chana, masur and moth pulses as prices are mostly ruling lower than the official support levels due to higher production and the government offloading its stocks. 
The government has opened up exports of urad, moong and tur from September 15, while there are no restrictions on shipment of kabuli chana.
“India had produced about 260-270 lakh tonnes pulses in 2016-17 and imported 57 lakh tonnes of pulses … The country consumes about 250-260 lakh tonnes of pulses in a year,” read a memorandum from the All India Dal Millers Association of India to the minister.

Masur (lentils), grown mostly in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, is selling at about Rs 400-500 a quintal below the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 3,950. Chana prices are currently ruling above MSP. Trade executives expect higher sowing of chana in the ensuing rabi season due to good rainfall and better prices, which could boost supplies next year and weigh on prices. 
“Various government agencies, which have procured about 15- 18 lakh tonnes of pulses, have been offloading their stock in the market. All these factors have been pulling prices downward,” said Suresh Agarwal, a dal miller from MP.
“Considering the production of pulses in India, the imports, international availability and stock with the government, we do not foresee any shortage,” said Agarwal. “Since India banned the export of pulses in 2006, we have lost our established export market. New dal mills have been set up in Sri Lanka, some African countries and Dubai,” he added. 
While uninterrupted exports allowed in kabuli chana helped farmers who grow it, those producing other pulses that are banned from exports suffered, traders said.