Where to find Bharat Dal?
According to ET, Bharat Dal is readily available at various retail outlets managed by organisations such as NAFED, NCCF, Kendriya Bhandar, and Safal.Additionally, it can be conveniently purchased from numerous e-commerce platforms. To further enhance its accessibility, state governments have the option to procure chana dal for distribution in welfare schemes through state-controlled cooperatives and corporations.
ALSO READ | After a ‘cold’ start, India renews $78 bn Qatar gas deal with $6 bn savings
Government’s measures to stabilise prices
The government keeps stocks of key pulses like chana, tur, urad, moong, and masur in the Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) to keep pulse prices stable. These stocks are released strategically to control prices. Also, to stabilise prices, the government has removed import duties on tur and urad until March 31, 2024, and reduced import duties on masur to zero to improve domestic availability and keep prices moderate. Additionally, stock limits on tur and urad have been set under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, to prevent hoarding.
Success of Bharat Dal
Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh was quoted saying that the swift popularity of the government’s ‘Bharat’ labelled chana dal among consumers. Launched in October 2023, it quickly grabbed a quarter of the market share due to its lower price of Rs 60 per kg compared to other brands priced at around Rs 80 per kg.
Singh highlighted the significant response to Bharat branded chana dal, which now makes up a substantial portion of the monthly chana dal consumption nationwide, totaling about 1.8 lakh tonnes. Since its launch, approximately 2.28 lakh tonnes of Bharat brand chana dal have been sold, averaging about 45,000 tonnes per month.
Initially available at 100 retail points, Bharat brand chana dal is now sold at 13,000 mobile and fixed retail outlets across 139 cities in 21 states. Singh emphasised that this initiative has played a vital role in controlling pulse inflation by indirectly impacting the prices of other pulses through buffer stocks.
This initiative marks the government’s first retailing of chana dal under the Bharat brand through agencies like Nafed, NCCF, Kendriya Bhandar, and five state cooperatives. These agencies procure raw chana from the government, process it, and then sell it under the Bharat brand. Currently, the government maintains a buffer stock of 15 lakh tonnes of chana.
Introduction of Bharat Rice
The Modi government has recently launched retail sales of ‘Bharat Rice‘ to the public. Initially, 5 LMT (Lakh Metric Tonnes) of rice has been allocated for retail under the ‘Bharat Rice’ brand, managed by three agencies: NAFED, NCCF, and Kendriya Bhandar. The retail price for Bharat Rice is set at Rs 29 per kg, available in 5 kg and 10 kg bags.
To ensure accessibility, Bharat Rice will be sold through mobile vans and physical outlets operated by these three central cooperative agencies. Additionally, efforts are underway to make it available through various retail chains, including e-commerce platforms.
This initiative responds to the sluggish demand for rice among bulk purchasers under the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS). By introducing retail sales of FCI rice, the government aims to generate consumer interest, following the success of other essential commodities like ‘Bharat Atta’, priced at Rs 27.50 per kg, and ‘Bharat Chana’ at Rs 60 per kg, sold through similar channels.