Agri Business

To check pulses price rise, the Centre directs States to make stockholders declare their stocks

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 17, 2021

Urges States and UTs to monitor the prices of all 22 essential commodities, especially pulses, oilseeds, vegetables and milk.

As some pulses are witnessing a spurt in prices, the Centre on Monday directed States and Union Territories to ensure that stockholders of pulses, such as millers, importers and traders, declare their stocks and urged them to verify the data provided by the stockholders.

The decision was conveyed to the States and UTs during a virtual meeting of Principal Secretaries in charge of food, public distribution and civil supplies convened by Consumer Affairs Secretary Leena Nandan.

This was following observation by many who participated in the meeting that sudden increase in prices of pulses could be because hoarding of stocks. Nandan urged the States and UTs to monitor the pulse prices on a weekly basis and invoke the provisions of the Essential Commodities Act (EC Act) wherever required.

Sections 3(2)(h) and 3(2)(i) of the EC Act make a provision for issuing orders to collect collecting information or statistics from persons engaged in the production, supply or distribution of or trade and commerce in any essential commodity and to maintain and produce for inspection such books, accounts and records relating to their business and to furnish such information. Invoking these provisions of the Act, the Department of Consumer Affairs wrote to the States UTs on Friday last to order all stockholders such as millers, traders, and importers to declare the stocks of pulses and verify the same.

The department also shared an online datasheet with the States for filling in the details of millers, wholesalers, importers etc. and the stocks of pulses held by them.

The pulse producing States/UTs were also requested to facilitate procurement as sustained procurement would incentivise farmers to cultivate pulses on a long-term basis. The pulses buffer is maintained by the Department of Consumer Affairs under the Price Stabilisation Fund with pulses procured from the farmers.

It also urged the States and UTs to monitor the prices of all 22 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.

They also said that the Centre has amended the import policy of pulses such as tur, moong, urad and pigeonpea and moved it from ‘restricted’ to ‘free’ with immediate effect till October 31. This liberalised regime would enable seamless and timely import of pulses.

Published on May 17, 2021

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