Essential Commodities: Goyal ask officials to keep an eye on prices

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May 20, 2021 3:45 AM

The department of consumer affairs collects data about the prices of all 22 essential commodities from 157 centres across the country.

As per official data, retail price of gram increased to Rs 80/kg on May 14 from Rs 60/kg a year ago, tur rose to Rs 110/kg from Rs 90/kg, while urad to Rs 105/kg from Rs 100/kg and masoor dal to Rs 80/kg from Rs 72.50/kg.As per official data, retail price of gram increased to Rs 80/kg on May 14 from Rs 60/kg a year ago, tur rose to Rs 110/kg from Rs 90/kg, while urad to Rs 105/kg from Rs 100/kg and masoor dal to Rs 80/kg from Rs 72.50/kg.

Two days after the Centre asked states to crack down on the hoarding of pulses, commerce and food minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday directed officials of the department of consumer affairs to further step-up monitoring of prices of essential commodities.

The minister also asked the officials to ensure that adequate stock of some commodities should be maintained to create a buffer to cushion against any unusual price shocks.

Goyal said that the provisions of the Essential Commodities (EC) Act may be enforced by the states if any miller, wholesaler or retailer tries to take undue advantage of the Covid situation and hoards the essential commodities. The direction of the ministry came at a review meeting to keep prices of essential commodities in check, the food ministry said in a statement.

The department of consumer affairs collects data about the prices of all 22 essential commodities from 157 centres across the country.

The Centre on Monday had asked states to take action against hoarding of pulses and advised them to direct all importers, traders, millers and stockholders to disclose the quantum of stock they hold. The Centre also said that unrestricted import of tur, urad and moong allowed till October of this year will enable seamless and timely shipment of these commodities.

As per official data, retail price of gram increased to Rs 80/kg on May 14 from Rs 60/kg a year ago, tur rose to Rs 110/kg from Rs 90/kg, while urad to Rs 105/kg from Rs 100/kg and masoor dal to Rs 80/kg from Rs 72.50/kg.

Some states have informed the Centre that the sudden spurt in prices of pulses may be due to hoarding by the stockholders, sources said. The Centre on May 14 had written to all states requesting them to use the powers under the EC Act in this regard. On May 15, the government had issued a notification putting import of tur, urad and moong under the non-restrictive category with immediate effect till October, this year.

The wholesale price-based food inflation in April was 4.92% as prices of protein-rich items like egg, meat, fish and pulses hardened. Inflation in this basket was 3.24% in March 2021. This was led by 10.88% inflation in the ‘egg, meat and fish’ basket during April, 10.74% in pulses and 27.43% in fruits. In vegetables, the rate of price rise was (-) 9.03%, against (-) 5.19% in the previous month.

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