Agri Business

Govt may set stock limits on farm items to curb price rise

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 08, 2018 Published on July 18, 2012

Prof K.V. Thomas

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The Government may consider imposing stock limits on various agriculture commodities to control the rising prices.

Such a move may help prevent hoarding as prices of commodities such as pulses and edible oils have firmed up in recent weeks on concerns over tight global supplies and weak monsoon hurting domestic output.

“We are reviewing the price situation and are in constant touch with the State Governments. We will also examine the option of imposing stockholding limits on commodities,” said the Food Minister, Prof K.V. Thomas. He, however, did not specify the commodities.

Prof Thomas was speaking to reporters after launching a bulletin ‘Standing on the Threshold: Food justice in India’ brought out by the Institute of Development Studies and Oxfam India. The Government had imposed stock limits in 2008 on sugar, pulses, onions, paddy and edible oils to control prices. The restrictions were withdrawn since 2009 on improved supply and higher production. The Food Minister’s statement assumes significance as the overall food inflation rose to 10.81 per cent in June from 7.64 per cent in corresponding last year. In May, the food inflation stood at 10.74 per cent. Prices of oils and fat have jumped 16.58 per cent in June, while pulses were up 9.34 per cent over corresponding month last year. Sugar prices rose 5.93 per cent in June.

Prof Thomas said that the Government would wait until August, by when a clearer picture on monsoon will emerge, to review the export policy on food commodities such as sugar and rice. The Government had eased curbs on exports of rice, wheat and sugar last year.

Monsoon woes

However, a 22 per cent deficit in the South-West monsoon, so far, has triggered concerns in several quarters over the potential impact on food output. “We need not worry about the foodgrain supply as we have sufficient rice and wheat stocks,” Prof Thomas said.

But the Food Minister expressed concern over pulses as production may drop. Key pulse growing regions in Karnataka and Maharashtra have witnessed scanty rain that has impacted the sowing. Production of pulses was down 5.6 per cent to 17.21 million tonnes in 2011-12, when foodgrain output touched an all-time high of 257.44 million tonnes.

Published on July 18, 2012
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