Agri Business

‘Regulate retail prices of pulses, grains’

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on July 06, 2021

Trade body says Centre is targeting ‘wrong’ sector

The Indian Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), the apex trade body for the sector, has urged the Government to regulate the retail prices of pulses and grains to provide relief to the consumers.

The retail prices have been traditionally higher than wholesale prices. “However, each time a surge in prices is reported, wholesale traders end up bearing the brunt for inflation whereas retailers be it online or offline, organised or unorganised, are seldom under the spotlight,” IPGA said in a statement.

Suggesting that the Department of Consumer Affairs take a closer look at reason for price difference, IPGA said, “At present, there is no regulation on retail prices of pulses leading to an indiscriminate surge in prices leaving the end-consumer to pay exorbitant prices for pulses and grains – which are necessities in any Indian household. IPGA firmly believes that the need of the hour is to regulate retail prices of pulses and grains, on an urgent basis so that consumers reeling under severe inflation can get some relief.”

IPGA monitoring

Further, IPGA said it has been monitoring retail, wholesale and ex-mill prices of pulses and grains from time to time. Quoting from a study that it conducted in June 2021 on pulse prices on retail shelves of organised and unorganised retail stores across Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai wherein teams physically purchased pulses from retail outlets, IPGA said the price spread between wholesale and retail prices was fairly large. Last week the Government imposed stock limits on the pulses trade to curb the prices. Following the Government’s action, chana futures on NCDEX fell almost 4 per cent for the July contract.

Targeting wrong sector

IPGA believes the Government is targeting the wrong sector. “They are focusing on the traders whereas they actually need to conduct an in-depth scrutiny and monitoring of the gap between the wholesale and the retail prices. They also need to see at what price NAFED is selling its stocks. Even the RBI Annual Report has pointed out the vast difference between wholesale and retail and yet the Government is taking action at the wholesale level or trader level or at the stockist level whereas the rally is taking place at the retail level where the Government is not taking any action,” it said.

IPGA strongly urged that the Government devise a process by which the pricing is suitably adjusted to be in-sync with wholesale prices. “There has to be some mechanism, some checks and balances which the Government has to devise, through thorough in-depth research. They need to appreciate that it is the retail sector which is causing the pulse prices to be on fire. It is not the milling or the import or the trading sector wholesale sector,” it said.

Meanwhile, PTI reported quoting Union Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said that the retail prices of pulses were on a declining trend after the Government’s interventions. “The recent imposition of stock limits on wholesalers, retailers, millers and importers of pulses will further have a cooling effect on retail prices,” Pandey told a virtual press conference.

“Barring masoor dal, prices of all other pulses have declined continuously in the last 4-5 weeks both in retail and wholesale markets,” he added.(

Published on July 05, 2021

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