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Give pulses through PDS, States told

Crackdown on hoarders in 13 States unearths 74,846 tonnes of dals.

Crackdown on hoarders in 13 States unearths 74,846 tonnes of dals.  

On Saturday, tur was selling at an average official rate of Rs.178 per kg and urad at Rs.154 per kg in retail markets.

Still grappling with high prices of pulses, particularly tur and urad, the Centre on Saturday asked the States to make cheaper lentils available to consumers, particularly the vulnerable sections, through the Public Distribution System.

It has asked the States to indicate their requirement of pulses for distribution through the PDS and control the price line. This will have an impact on market sentiments and help in stabilising retail prices, sources said.

On Saturday, tur was selling at an average official rate of Rs.178 per kg and urad at Rs.154 per kg in retail markets, prompting Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha to hold a meeting with top officials of the departments concerned to discuss the situation.

While the crackdown on hoarders in 13 States has resulted in unearthing of 74,846 tonnes of dals so far, in a letter to the State governments, the Department of Consumer Affairs has urged them to make available pulses at lower rates through the PDS and hold talks with dal millers and sellers to keep open market prices at reasonable levels.

The Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu governments have taken steps to make subsidised pulses available under the PDS. These States have also take action against hoarders, along with other States. In Delhi, Kendriya Bhandars and Safal outlets are selling imported tur at Rs.120 per kg.

The Gujarat government held a meeting with dal millers, wholesalers and retailers and took from them an undertaking to sell pulses at “reasonable” rates. The rate arrived at was Rs.140 a kg for tur dal which is selling between Rs.180 and Rs.200 a kg in the retail markets.

Government sources said the Centre was giving a subsidy of Rs.10 per kg on imported tur dal. The landed cost of the dal was Rs.79 a kg. After subsidy, un-milled dal was priced at Rs.69 a kg. It is being sold at government outlets at Rs.120 a kg after adding milling and transportation costs.

Still out of reach

However, a market watcher told The Hindu that whereas the price of tur was Rs.77 a kg in January, the government, by allowing retailers to sell at Rs.140 or even Rs.120 a kg, was setting a benchmark of price which was out of reach of the common man. The assurance that the government must take is that the prices will be normal as soon as the new harvest arrives in November.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 11:31:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/give-pulses-through-pds-states-told/article7801162.ece

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