India has initiated the process of inviting tenders to procure imported lentils.

India’s Consumer Affairs Ministry has started inviting tenders four times a week for purchase of imported red lentils (whole) as part of the Centre’s efforts to bring down prices of pulses. However, the conduct of these races has soured the trade somewhat. The tenders are announced by the National Federation of Agricultural Produce Marketing Cooperatives of India (Nafed) and the National  Federation of Consumer Cooperatives of India (NCCF). While Nafed announces tenders on Mondays and Wednesdays, NCCF does so on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The tender notices will be published from August 23rd.The offer received from the commercial sector was for the supply of non-GMO lentils to the designated warehouses for the 2022 campaign. 

The minimum  size of the offer is 5,000 tons, so it is a multiple of 500 tons. The maximum purchase quantity from various locations is a total of 20,000 tons. Once the tenders have been submitted, it is up to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs to accept or reject them according to the information contained in the tender documents.The government assumes that individuals are of Canadian, Australian or foreign origin. Lentils can be delivered to eight locations including Mundra, Kandla, Hazira (Gujarat), Visakhapatnam and Kakinada (Andhra). “Nafed and NCCF compare these offers with the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, which makes its decision based on the lowest price offered. 

“However, this raises some issues”, said a business owner who wished to remain anonymous. The first tender was canceled due to only one bidder, while the second tender involved  bidders (6 to 7). While Canadian lentils are considered the best, Australian lentils are described by the industry as expensive. Russia and Ukraine are also suppliers of lentils, but no one is sure about their prices. Attempts to Lower Prices Basically, traders face two problems when initiating transactions. First of all, the tender documents show that the offers are valid for two days. 

All communications will be informal,” the retailer said. Second, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs would  set a reference price for tendering decisions. Why shouldn’t the government tell us  so we can decide whether we can do it? Do we keep our promises or not? I was wondering where this business came from. Rising retail prices  became a major concern for the Center during the 8.5 crisis in the Kharif region for various crops such as tur, urad and moong. The extent of  stimulus measures was affected by inadequate monsoon rainfall in the main producing regions of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. During the last agricultural campaign, the production of urad (black peas) and tur (pigeon peas) declined. This has led to a sharp rise in retail prices of pulses. According to the Ministry of  Consumer Affairs, prices of urad dal  have increased by 30% and tur dal by more than 7% in the past year. Prices of moong dal increased by 9% and chana dal by 6%.

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