Over 4,660 tonnes of pulses out of total 1.33 lakh tonnes seized from hoarders in raids across India have been offloaded in the open market in five states that will help boost availability and bring down dal prices.
The prices of lentils are continuing to rule higher up to Rs 190 per kg in most retail markets despite several measures taken by the government including action against hoarders, stock holding limits on traders and importers among others.
“As per reports received from the state governments, till today, 4,660.68 tonnes pulses seized under de-hoarding operations have been auctioned or disposed through other options in markets to increase availability. This will help to moderate the prices further,” an official release said.
Five states/union territories — Delhi, Odisha, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh — had seized about 35,761 tonnes of pulses, of which 4,660 tonnes have been disposed in the market in these states, it said.
Out of 4,660 tonnes of pulses, about 371.03 tonnes of lentils have been offloaded via auction process in Karnataka, while the rest through other options in Delhi (8.13 tonnes), Chattisgarh (1,489.06 tonnes), Odisha (1402.16 tonnes) and Madhya Pradesh (1390.30 tonnes).
So far, 1.33 lakh tonnes of pulses have been confiscated during 12,506 raids conducted across states. Other state governments are in the process of disposing the seized pulses.
In a high level meeting held last week, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said prices of pulses grew also because proper action was not taken by states against the hoarders.
Jaitley had directed the Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture and Food and Consumer Affairs to remain vigilant, work closely with the states and “take immediate measures, including stepping up procurement of pulses, enhancing and building up of buffer stocks”.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet Secretary had also held a video conference with state chief secretaries early this month and asked them to complete the disposal process and ensure availability of pulses in the retail market at the earliest.
Dal prices have risen this year sharply as production fell to 17.20 million tonnes in 2014-15 crop year due to poor rains, against 19.25 million tonnes in the previous year.