NEW DELHI: After delivering Ganga jal, post offices will now start selling pulses at subsidised rates to consumers. Finding a solution to the lukewarm response of states in picking up pulses from the central buffer stock, the Centre has decided to roll out this initiative in the next couple of weeks.
“We have already talked to the postal department and they are keen to start this. To make a beginning, we will start selling chana dal at subsidised prices at some of the post offices since it’s still selling at relatively high price,” consumer affairs secretary Hem Pande told TOI.
An official release of consumer affairs ministry said the inter-ministerial panel while reviewing the availability and prices of essential commodities on Friday had suggested that in the absence of government outlets in states, postal networks should be tapped for distribution.
TOI had reported on September 3 that the consumer affairs ministry was exploring the possibility of using the huge network of India Post outlets across the country.
Pande said in the next few days they will work out how pulses in packets can be made available at post offices. “We will see whether our entities can do this. Already one agency, NCCF (National Cooperative Consumers Federation of India), is selling pulses in Delhi through mobile vans,” he added.
Early this year, the Centre had struggled to dispose off imported pulses since states did not come forward to take them despite government offering the stock at subsidised prices. This year, the buffer stock created with import and domestic procurement of pulses is more than 1.5 lakh tonnes and the Centre is in a comfortable position to start their sale through different government outlets.
This is also being seen as an interim arrangement till the time government engages a professional agency to manage the entire buffer stock and its disposal. The government has approved creating 20 lakh tonne buffer stock of pulses.