The Budget 2021 has allotted ₹ 2,700 crore to the price stabilisation fund (PSF) for 2021-22, which shall be used to create a buffer stock of onions and pulses to examine price volatility in these commodities.
This is 35% greater than the allocation of ₹ 2,000 crore within the last year budget. However, 77% lower than the actual expenditure of ₹ 11,800 crore in 2020-21. The PSF will also be utilized to fund the states that want to create their very own PSFs.
“In 2020-21, the expenditure went up astronomically because of the free distribution of pulses grains for 200 million poor families under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKAY) scheme during Covid-19 pandemic. Apart from this, the govt has created a buffer stock of 99,000 tonnes of onions,” mentioned a senior consumer affairs ministry official. “In the next fiscal year, the Budget allocation is reduced from actual expenditure but increased by 35% from previous year budget allocation.”
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The officials mentioned the Central government is planning to obtain 50% extra onions subsequent year to tide over the time when there’s short supply of onions.
‘We will start procuring onions from March-April for the buffer stocks. Onions lots produced in the winter are better suited for the storage. In 2020-21, 25,000 tonnes of onions in buffer stock got spoiled due to moisture loss,’ the official mentioned.
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He mentioned that the Union government additionally created buffer inventory of 2 million tonnes of pulses, which have been distributed to control costs. It was additionally used for free distribution throughout the pandemic.
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