NEW DELHI: Amid production concerns due to back-to-back drought, the government has issued a tender for importing 5,000 tonnes of pigeon peas (tur) to boost domestic supply and control prices. This is the second tender floated by state-owned MMTCBSE 0.62 % this month. The earlier one was for import of a similar quantity of tur for delivery in February-March.
Fearing a flare up in pulses prices again in 2016 due to little improvement in domestic output, the government has directed MMTC to import more pulses to improve supply and check price rise. The prices of pulses are already ruling high at around Rs 180 per kg.
As per the tender document, MMTC has invited global bids for import of 5,000 tonnes of pigeon peas of the latest crop from Myanmar, Malawi, Mozambique or any other origin. Both technical and price bids should be submitted by February 10 and tenders will remain valid till February 16.
MMTC said bids should be for a minimum quantity of 2,500 tonnes and the shipment should reach Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and Chennai port by April 15. The trading firm had last year imported 5,000 tonnes of tur dal to check prices. It however did not get response for an import tender for urad.
Expecting low production for a second year in a row, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had recently asked the Commerce Ministry to direct trading firms to speed up the process of imports in order to overcome any output shortfall.
Pulses production in 2015-16 crop year (July-June) is expected to be much below the earlier estimate of around 18 million tonnes because of poor sowing of rabi crops. Production in 2014-15 was at 17.38 million tonnes.