The Centre on Wednesday raised the procurement ceiling for tur, urad and masur under the PSS scheme and also decided to dispose of 15 lakh tonne of chana procured under its two programmes to states at a discounted rate.
The decision in this regard was taken in the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Price Support Scheme (PSS), under the Agriculture Ministry, is operationalised only when prices of agri-produce fall below the minimum support price (MSP). On the other hand, Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF), which is under the Food Ministry, commodities are purchased at market prices.
"CCEA has approved enhancement of ceiling on the quantity of procurement under PSS from existing 25 per cent to 40 per cent in respect of tur, urad and masur," an official statement said.
The CCEA also approved the disposal of chana to states and Union Territories at a discounted rate to be utilised for various welfare schemes from the stock procured under PSS and PSF.
The states will be offered to lift 15 lakh tonne of chana at a discount of Rs 8 per kg over the issue price of the sourcing state on a first come first serve basis, it said. The government will spend Rs 1,200 crore for the implementation of this scheme, it added.
The states are required to use this chana in various welfare schemes like Mid-Day Meal, Public Distribution System (PDS), and Integrated Child Development Programmes (ICDP), among others. "This will be one-time dispensation for a period of 12 months or till complete disposal of 15 lakh tonne stock of chana whichever is earlier," the government said.
The decision to dispose of chana will clear space of warehouses, which may be required in the coming Rabi season for accommodating fresh stocks procured under the PSS. In recent times, the country has witnessed an all-time high production of chana, especially during the last three years.