Hyderabad: The State government is pressuring the Centre to ensure a fair deal for red gram farmers of Telangana and is going all out to procure the stocks from them as part of its market intervention measures.
Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao on Tuesday appealed to the Centre for a review of its ban on the export of pulses in general, red gram in particular, which was put in force with some exceptions since 2006.
Reviewing the procurement of red gram, he said despite a bumper harvest this year, farmers were at the receiving end and much of their plight was due to the dismantling of import surcharge of 30 per cent on red gram by the Centre.
The issue was already taken up with Union Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitaraman. The State government wrote to her stressing the need for protecting red gram growers by raising the taxes on import of pulses.
The Centre signed an MoU with different countries including Myanmar, Tanzania, Mozambique and other African countries for importing one lakh tonnes of red gram in 2016-17 and an additional two lakh tonnes in the next three years.
The import of red gram would leave the farmers cultivating the pulse in crisis. The Minister said some 4.35 lakh hectares in the State was used for red gram as against 2.47 lakh hectares last year.