ANDHRA PRADESH

Mill owners against anti-hoarding drive

Staff Reporter

Wholesale shops go on strike, down their shutters

Traders allege there is a gap in demand and supply To move High Court against closing of three mills

HYDERABAD: The ongoing anti-hoarding drive for pulses in mills and wholesale outlets in Ranga Reddy district and Hyderabad by vigilance and civil supplies wings seems to have touched a raw nerve with the pulse producers and wholesale merchants.

On Saturday, the mill owners outrightly spurned allegations of hoarding and pointed out that authorities, with a motive of harassment, have seized their stock and sealed their mills.

"There was no need to close down pulse mills in RR district because the law says that only the whole sale merchants can't store over 1,000 quintals. We are producers and we can store 15 days worth of finished product and 30 days of raw material," said president of Hyderabad Dall Mills and Merchants Association R.D. Agarwal.

The members who interacted with mediapersons here on Saturday made it clear that the Government to some extent is also responsible for the increase in the market rates of pulses although the wholesale rates are stable in the city.

They pointed out that there is a gap in demand and supply due to uneven monsoon this season.

An additional four per cent VAT on pulses is also not helping the prices of various pulses to be kept under check.

Twin cities has 200 merchants exclusively in the whole sale business of pulses and another 35 pulse mills, a majority of which are located in the nearby Ranga Reddy districts.

Sealed

The authorities had sealed three pulse mills in R.R district and mill owners fear that more pulse mills would be under the hammer.

As a mark of protest, the wholesale shops of all pulses that add up to 160 shops in Begum Bazaar, Maharajgunj, Kishangunj and Malakpet area have downed their shutters since the anti-hoarding drive began.

Form C

"Our stock limits are far below the permissible limits, which are clearly mentioned in the Form C monthly returns of the stock with the Chief Rationing Officer.

We are approaching the High Court for closing our mills," said Mr. Agarwal.