The government said on Tuesday action against hoarders and blackmarketeers has been stepped up and the state governments have seized over 5,800 tonne of pulses in five states over the last few months.
This is basically aimed at boosting supply and bringing down prices of tur dal that have shot up to Rs 200 per kg.
The Cabinet Secretary on Tuesday reviewed the prices, production, procurement and availability of pulses in a meeting with secretaries of Consumer Affairs, Agriculture, Commerce and other ministries.
The meeting also reviewed the action taken by state governments to prevent hoarding of pulses, besides discussing about progress of sale of imported pulses at subsidised rates in Delhi and other states.
“We had directed state governments to enforce the Essential Commodities Act more stringently. As a result, some state governments have carried out surprised inspections and seized large quantities of pulses,” Consumer Affairs Secretary C Vishwanath said after the meeting.
According to the Consumer Affairs Ministry, over 5,800 tonnes of pulses have been seized in five states in the last few months.
Of the entire amount, 2,549 tonnes have been seized from Telangana, 2,295 tonnes from Madhya Pradesh, 600 tonnes from Andhra Pradesh, 360 tonnes from Karnataka and 10 quintals from Maharashtra, the ministry’s data showed.
Maharashtra government conducts 276 raids in 16 districts in last 24 hours to check hoarding and black-marketing of pulses.
“Raids are being carried out even today at places like Mysore and Gulbarga in Karnataka and also in Tamil Nadu. These measures have started showing results,” the official said.
Stating that the Centre is closely monitoring the steps being taken against hoarders by state governments, the official said, “All these measures are expected to improve supply of pulses and moderate prices.”
Besides de-hoarding measures, state governments have started withdrawing stock holding limit exemptions given to pulse importers, exporters, licensed food processors and large departmental retailers, following the central government’s direction.
Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu have already issued orders in this regard, another Consumer Affairs Ministry official said.