Madras HC asks TN to consider allegations that masur dal is supplied through ration shops.

The Madras High Court has asked the Tamil Nadu Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Cooperation, Food and Consumer Protection to consider a request to supply masur dal (red lentils) through the public distribution system. Employed lentil supplier and lentil importer Sri Sairam Impex filed a mandamus petition asking the court to order the government to include red lentils in the state government’s tenders for supply of pulses through food ration shops. . The tenders are seeking bids only for the supply of tur Dal (pigeon pea or arhar) and Canadian yellow lentil. The exclusion of red lentil from the tender is “harmful to the exchequer and Sri Sai Impex has asked for the inclusion of pulses in the upcoming offers along with other varieties.

“Expensive” tur

Sri Sai Impex was referring to a letter sent by the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs to all states which claimed that the Center had asked them to encourage the consumption of subsidized chana dal (gram ) or red lentils for welfare schemes to replace more expensive “but necessarily more nutritious” pulses like tur dal. The Center introduced the directive after downward pressure on growth in domestic production and urged states to monitor and control inventory disclosure by traders, importers, wholesalers and traders to control price increases.

Separately, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, in a letter dated November 11, 2023, suggested that the Tamil Nadu government might consider replacing its tur dal distribution with masur dal (red lentils) through ration shops and other welfare recipients. .

“A more reasonable price”

This was because the red lenses were easily replaceable on the market and were available at a “much more reasonable price”. “This will reduce the subsidy burden on the government and also boost the overall consumer demand for tur dal and its prices in the country,” said Rohit Kumar Singh, Chancellor, Ministry of Consumer Affairs. Singh proposed to distribute Masuri from buffer stocks at minimum support prices or even cheaper if the state chooses it for PDS and other welfare schemes. Law Judge Anita Sumanth ordered the Secretary, Department of Cooperation, Food and Consumer Protection to hear Sri Sai Impex and “pass orders in accordance with law” within eight weeks of receiving a copy of the February 13 order.

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