India imposes stock limits on pulses till October to prevent hoarding, curb price rise

India’s Food and Consumer Affairs Ministry imposed stock limits on all pulses, except moong, held by wholesalers, retailers, importers and millers till October. The stock limits are imposed with immediate effect.

According to the ministry, a stock limit of 200 tonnes has been imposed on wholesalers provided they do not hold more than 200 tonnes of one variety of pulses. For retailers, the stock limit is 5 tonnes. In the case of millers, the stock limit will be the last three months of production or 25 per cent of annual installed capacity, whichever is higher.

For importers of pulses, the stock limit will be the same as that of wholesalers for stocks held or imported prior to 15 May, 2021. And for pulses imported after May 15, the stock limit applicable on wholesalers will apply after 45 days from the date of customs clearance, the order said.

If the stocks of entities exceed the prescribed limits, they have to be declared on the online portal of the Department of Consumer Affairs and have to be brought within the prescribed limit within 30 days of the notification of this order, it added.

Retail prices of pulses rose by more than 20 per cent during the January-June period of this year, according to the ministry’s data. According to the ministry, there was a sustained increase in the price of pulses in March-April. The need for an urgent policy decision was felt to send the right signal to the market.

Retail prices of tur and urad dal have increased to Rs 110 per kg each now from Rs 100 per kg in January, the ministry data showed. Masoor dal rates have risen by 21 per cent to Rs 85 per kg now from Rs 70 per kg, while that of gram dal to Rs 75 per kg from Rs 65 per kg in the said period.

Among other measures taken to control the prices of pulses, the government has allowed free import of tur, urad and moong till October, shifting them from the restricted category. Additionally, five-year MoUs have been signed with Myanmar, Malawi and Mozambique for the import of pulses.

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