Not only pulses, but states were also asked to monitor other 21 essential commodities, especially pulses, oilseeds, vegetables and milk also.
In a bid to contain rising prices of pulses, the Centre on Monday asked state governments to take action against hoarding by directing 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 Friday 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. In a virtual meeting with state officials, Consumer Affairs Secretary Leena Nandan, who reviewed the availability of pulses and the price situation in the country, also asked state governments to monitor the prices of pulses on a weekly basis.
Issuing a statement on the outcome of the meeting, the government said, “Participants in the meeting observed that sudden spurt in prices of pulses may be due to hoarding of pulses by the stockholders”. To check hoarding of pulses, the secretary asked state governments to direct all importers, traders, millers and stockholders to declare the stock of pulses as per the provisions under the Essential Commodities (EC) Act.
The secretary also reminded state governments that the Centre on May 14 had written to all states requesting them to use the powers under the EC Act in this regard. In the meeting, an online datasheet was also shared with states to fill in the details of millers, wholesalers, importers etc. and the stocks of pulses held by them.
States were also requested to monitor prices of pulses on a weekly basis, the statement said. Not only pulses, but states were also asked to monitor other 21 essential commodities, especially pulses, oilseeds, vegetables and milk, and to look for early signs of any unusual price rise so that timely interventions can be made to ensure that these food items are provided at affordable prices to consumers.
Besides, pulses growing states were asked to facilitate sustained procurement as that would incentivise farmers to cultivate pulses on a long-term basis. The issue of free import of three varieties of pulses — tur, urad and moong — was discussed in a separate meeting with ministries of food, agriculture and commerce. Regulatory clearances such as phytosanitary and customs clearances were discussed and deliberated in the meeting.
“This liberalised regime would enable seamless and timely import of pulses,” the government said. On May 15, the government issued a notification putting import of tur, urad and moong under non-restrictive category with immediate effect till October, this year.