The Union Cabinet has approved the disposal of 15 lakh tonne chana to States and Union Territories at Rs 8 per kg discount so that it can be utilized for various welfare schemes.

These pulses will come from the stock that was procured under the price support scheme at the Minimum Support Price and price stabilization fund, which is the buffer stock maintained to avert any sharp hikes in rates. “Under this approved Scheme, the States/UTs Government are offered to lift 15 lakh tonne of chana at the discount of Rs 8 per kg over the issue price of the sourcing State on first come first serve basis,” an official statement said on Wednesday.

The States/UTs shall utilize these pulses in their various welfare schemes such as the Mid-Day Meal, Public Distribution System, the Integrated Child Development Programmes (ICDP) among others. This discount will be a one-time dispensation for a period of 12 months or till the complete disposal of 15 lakh tonne stock, whichever is earlier. The Government will spend Rs 1,200 crore for the implementation of this scheme.

Besides discounts on chana to States and UTs, the Cabinet raised the procurement ceiling under the price support scheme from the existing 25 per cent to 40 per cent for pulses such as tur, urad, and masur.

The discount and the enhanced ceiling for three pulses, the statement state, will encourage more farmers to grow pulses by making higher investments and help them in fetching remunerative prices for their produce.

“Moreover, this also helps in achieving self-sufficiency of such pulses in our country,” the statement said.

In recent times, India has witnessed an all-time high production of chana — especially during the last three years.

The government under the Price Support Scheme has made record procurement of chana during Rabi 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22. Due to this, 30.55 lakh tonne of chana is available with the government under PSS and PSF.