Pulses prices to come down soon: Jaitley

New Delhi, Nov 3 (IANS) Soaring pulse prices will come down soon as a result of good harvest and the actions taken against the hoarders, said union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday.

“The rate of inflation has come down in last one and half year. Prices of many commodities have come down. But there are some products, whose arrival is less in the Indian market as well as foreign markets.

“The requirement of pulses is 22 million tonne in India. We increased the production up to 17 million tonne but still we are short of 5 million tonne production,” he said at the International Film Festival of India here.

The minister said the prices of pulses – considered as the poor man’s staple food – had rocketed as adequate action was not initiated against the hoarders by the states.

“Most of the countries from where we used to import pulses have also recorded low production. Some traders took benefit from it and hoarded the commodity. It was the state governments’ responsibility to take action and carry out raids,” he said.

Jaitley said after the central government intervened and a substantial amount of raids were carried out against the hoarders, in almost all states, the price of pulse has started normalizing.

“Pulses from the Rabi crop have also started coming. There is also arrival of pulses in international market,” he said.

As per another statement from the government, on an average, pulses prices across the country have declined by about Rs.20 per kg.

With the arrival of Urad dal and the new crop of Arhar dal expected in early December, the prices would ease further. “The supply situation would be further augmented when the 130,000 tones of pulses seized in the states come back into the retail market”, the statement said.

Jaitley has directed the agriculture and food and consumer affairs secretaries to remain vigilant and work closely with the states to take immediate measures including stepping up procurement of pulses and enhancing and building up of buffer stocks.

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