The government-procured chana dal retailed under the 'Bharat' brand has emerged as the biggest selling brand among householders with 1/4th market share in less than four months of its launch due to the price advantage, Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said on Wednesday.
Launched in October 2023, the Bharat-branded 'chana dal' has an edge because it is priced lower at Rs 60 per kg compared to other brands at around Rs 80 per kg, he said.
"The response has been so good that out of 1.8 lakh tonne monthly consumption of chana dal (all brands included) among householders in the country, 1/4th of it is 'Bharat' brand chana dal," Singh told PTI.
About 2.28 lakh tonne of Bharat brand chana dal has been sold since October 2023. The monthly average sale was around 45,000 tonne, he said.
Initially, the sale started through 100 retail points and now has reached 13,000, both mobile and fixed retail outlets covering 139 cities in 21 states, he added.
Stating that this step has helped in controlling inflation in pulses, the secretary said, "Prices of pulses behave as a basket. By using the buffer stock to bring down the prices of chana, this also has lateral effect on prices of other pulses."
The government has been maintaining a buffer stock of various types of pulses including chana since last couple of years for the purpose of using it to boost domestic availability and check prices.
It is for the first time, the government is retailing chana dal under the Bharat brand through agencies Nafed, NCCF, Kendriya Bhandar and five state cooperatives.
The secretary explained that raw chana is being offered from the buffer stock to these agencies at a subsidised rate of Rs 47.83 per kg with a condition that they should retail at not less than Rs 60 per kg.
The agencies buy raw chana from the government, mill and polish it before retailing it under the Bharat brand.
Currently, 15 lakh tonne of chana is in the government buffer stock, he added.
Besides chana dal, the government is selling Food Corporation of India (FCI) wheat flour (atta) under the Bharat brand. It is also mulling sale of FCI rice under the same brand in order to check prices.
Though the country's domestic production of pulses has increased in the last few years, it is still short of consumption and depends on imports to meet the gap. The country is self-reliant in chana and moong alone, and other types of pulses are imported to meet the shortage.