The government on Tuesday decided to raise the import limit on arhar dal to 4 lakh tonnes (LT) from the present 2 LT as there were media reports that the prices have gone up in the market. The decision was taken at an inter-ministerial meeting convened by Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan.

The meeting, attended by senior officials from food, consumer affairs, agriculture and commerce ministries, also decided to ask state-owned NAFED to offload 2 LT arhar dal in the open market, a statement said. It also decided to import 1.75 LT of pulses from Mozambique under bilateral trade treaty.

According to the sources, the government would issue licences to private traders who are applying for import licences within 10 days of receiving applications. Reiterating that there was no reason to be panic, the sources said there are about 39 LT of pulses available with the state-run firms with Nafed alone keeping a stock of 27 LT.

The government also said it would take strict action against hoarders and black marketeers who are being monitored regularly.