Union Cabinet takes stock of pulse prices, supply situation

New Delhi

With retail pulse prices soaring beyond Rs 200 per kg, the Cabinet today reviewed de-hoarding measures being taken by state governments and discussed ways to boost supply to control further spike in prices during the festive season.

A group of ministers headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is slated to hold a meeting in the evening today to discuss further on this issue, sources said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be present.

Even the Cabinet Secretary is reviewing the price situation of pulses separately.

“The Cabinet today discussed availability and price situation of pulses in the country. It also took note of stringent enforcement of de-hoarding measures in states like Maharashtra,” sources said.

The Cabinet was informed that the Maharashtra government had seized 23,340 tonnes of pulses during 276 raids carried out in 16 districts yesterday. The state government has also reimposed the stock holding limits on traders, sources said.

It was also informed that much of the seized quantity of pulses was unmilled, largely from Mumbai, Thane and Panvel.

The state government is conducting raids in other districts.

The Cabinet also made a note of falling prices of some varieties of pulses following these raids.

It was informed that the Ministry of Consumer Affairs is following up with other state governments to enforce stringent measures against hoarders and blackmarketeers of pulses, sources added.

Following action against hoarding in some states, tur prices today declined marginally to Rs 205 per kg today from Rs 210 yesterday in retail markets.

Prices of moong, masoor and gram (chana) also showed a slight decline to Rs 130, Rs 110 and 82, respectively, while urad rates remained unchanged at Rs 198 today from over yesterday’s level, government data showed.

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

To control skyrocketing prices, the Centre has taken several measures such as 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. PTI

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