Over 35,000 tonnes of pulses seized from hoarders: Ministry

New Delhi, Oct 21 (IANS) Over 35,000 tonnes of pulses were seized in 10 states in two days as the state governments intensified the crackdown on hoarders and black marketers of the commodity, the Consumer Affairs Ministry said on Wednesday.

“De-hoarding operations have been further intensified by the states to check hoarding of pulses. More than 35,000 tonnes of pulses have been seized in 10 states,” the ministry said in a statement.

The state governments were exhorted to carry out surprise inspections and raids to prevent hoarding. As a result, a total of 35,288 tonnes of pulses were seized during 2,704 raids in these states, it said.

A maximum of 23,340 tonnes was seized in Maharashtra, followed by 4,525.19 tonnes in Chhattisgarh, 2,546 tonnes in Telangana, 2,295 tonnes in Madhya Pradesh, 1,168 tonnes in Haryana, 859.8 tonnes in Andhra Pradesh, 479.6 tonnes in Karnataka, 68.47 tonnes in Rajasthan, 4.32 tonnes in Tamil Nadu and 2.44 tonnes in Himachal Pradesh, the statement added.

The Centre has also asked the Haryana state cooperative supply and marketing federation Ltd. to procure pulses from the market and sell thought its outlets in the state.

In Uttarkhand, mandi samitis have opened retail outlets in Dehradun, Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar for selling ‘tur’ dal at Rs.145 per kg. The state government has also been directed to distribute pulses at the fixed rate through ration shops, it added.

In Delhi, ‘tur’ dal is being sold at Rs.120 per kg through outlets of Safal and Kendriya Bhandar, while in Tamil Nadu, the government is selling ‘urad’ at a highly subsidised rate of Rs.30 per kg.

The Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments are distributing red gram at Rs.50 per kg to provide relief to consumers.

Following action against hoarding in some states, ‘tur’ prices declined marginally on Wednesday to Rs.205 per kg from Rs.210 on Tuesday in retail markets.

Prices of ‘moong’, ‘masoor’ and ‘chana’ also showed a slight decline to Rs.130, Rs.110 and Rs.82 per kg respectively, while ‘urad’ rates remained unchanged at Rs.198 on Wednesday, government data showed.

Prices have shot up due to a fall in output of pulses by two million tonnes in 2014-15 due to deficient and untimely rains.

The Centre has taken several measures to control skyrocketing prices, like creating a buffer stock of 40,000 tonnes, sale of imported pulses at cheaper rates and imposition of stock limits on traders as well as departmental stores, licensed food processors, importers and exporters.

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