Procurement Ceilings for Pulses under the Price Support Scheme (PSS)

The government has lifted the procurement ceilings of 40% for tur, urad, and masur under the Price Support Scheme (PSS) operations for 2023-24.

What exactly is the Price Support Scheme (PSS)?

  • Physical procurement: The Price Support Scheme (PSS) requires Central Nodal Agencies to physically procure pulses, oilseeds, and copra.
  • The designated entities responsible for procuring crops under the PSS are the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) and the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
  • Implementation: The initiative is carried out in partnership with state governments, which exempt the purchased goods from mandi tax and give logistical support, such as gunny sacks and operating capital.

The need for such a strategy

  • Balancing the interests of farmers and consumers: The PSS strikes a balance between farmer and consumer welfare, guaranteeing fair returns for farmers and reasonable costs for consumers.
  • Price remuneration: The fundamental goals of the PSS are to give farmers with remunerative prices, so promoting higher investment and production, while also assuring affordable pricing and availability for consumers.
  • Encouragement of production: By providing a fixed price, the PSS encourages farmers to invest in agricultural production, resulting in higher output and self-sufficiency.
  • Consumer welfare: The system tries to promote consumers’ interests by assuring a consistent supply of necessary items at reasonable rates and lowering intermediation costs.
  • Market intervention: The PSS functions as a market intervention mechanism, stabilising prices and decreasing the risks that farmers experience as a result of market swings and unforeseen occurrences.
  • Support for agricultural growth: The scheme is part of the government’s larger initiatives to stimulate agricultural growth, increase farmer income, and improve food security in the country.

Why is this in the news?

  • Notified The government implemented stock limitations on tur and urad on June 2, 2023, by invoking the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
  • Avoid hoarding: The tax is intended to discourage stockpiling and unscrupulous speculation while also improving consumer affordability.
  • Stock limits apply to wholesalers, retailers, large chain shops, millers, and importers who are required to register their stock status on the Department of Consumer Affairs’ webpage.

State Governments Enforcing Stock Limits:

  • Directives to State Governments: The Department of Consumer Affairs has urged state governments to guarantee that stock limitations are strictly enforced in their respective states.
  • Monitoring and verification: States have been requested to keep an eye on prices and verify supply levels by working with various warehouse operators.
  • Warehousing corporation cooperation: The Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) and State Warehousing Corporations (SWCs) have been asked to give information on tur and urad inventories housed in their warehouses.
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