New Delhi : The Central government on Monday asked the States/UTs to direct all the stockholders, millers, traders and importers to declare the stocks of pulses while requesting to monitor the prices of pulses on a weekly basis.
This comes after the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution reviewed the action taken by States/UTs for disclosure of stock of pulses by stockholders like millers, importers, traders, etc. It also reviewed the availability and price situation of pulses across the country.
The ministry asked states to use the provisions of the Essential Commodities Act (EC Act), 1955 to ensure adequate availability of the scheduled essential commodities at fair prices to the common people.
It was observed that the sudden surge in prices of pulses may be due to hoarding of pulses by the Stockholders. States/UTs were also requested to monitor the prices of pulses on a weekly basis and verify the stocks.
Sections 3(2)(h) and 3(2)(i) of the Essential Commodities Act (EC Act), 1955 make a provision for issuance of issue orders for collecting information or statistics to the persons engaged in the production, supply or distribution of or trade and commerce in of any essential commodity and to maintain and produce for inspection such books, accounts and records relating to their business and to furnish such information relating thereto.
The pulse-producing States/UTs were also requested to facilitate procurement as sustained procurement would incentivise farmers to cultivate pulses on a long-term basis. The pulses buffer is maintained by the Department of Consumer Affairs under the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) with pulses procured from the farmers.
According to the Ministry, the buffer procurement process supports farmers by procuring pulses at MSP, while disposal from the buffer helps in moderating moderate price volatility and thereby mitigate hardships to consumers. The procured pulses are being stored locally to ensure the supply of stocks to States at minimal logistic costs and make them available at affordable prices to the consumers.
The Centre had requested States/ UTs to monitor the prices of all 22 essential Commodities, especially pulses, oilseeds, vegetables and milk and to look for early signs of any unusual price rise so that timely interventions can be made to ensure that these food items are provided at affordable prices to consumers.
Meanwhile, the Department of Commerce on May 15 amended the import policy of Tur/Pigeon Peas, Moong and Urad from ‘Restricted’ to ‘Free’ with immediate effect and for the period up to October 31, 2021 to enable seamless and timely import of pulses. (ANI)