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Adequate stocks lead to drop in pulses' wholesale prices: Officials


New Delhi, June 21 

Quick government measures including actions against hoarders and increasing of stocks have led to "increased availability of the commodity" in the market on Tuesday resulting in modest fall in wholesale prices of arhar and a few other pulses, officials said on Tuesday.

In the National Capital Region and parts of north India, arhar and other pulses' variety saw a drop in bulk purchase between Rs 50 and Rs 100 per quintal indicating that this will also "ease the retail consumers" in days to come, sources in the Union Food ministry said here. 

"The drop in wholesale price is a matter of satisfaction as quick action from the government in coordination with state agencies have started showing results," a source told IANS.

Drought and long dry spell have resulted in shortfall in pulses production this year as against previous season and the retail pulses prices have shot up as high as Rs 200 per kg.

There has been an estimated seven million tonnes shortfall in the domestic production this year. 

Meanwhile, a high-level delegation led by Consumer Affairs Secretary Hem Pande and comprising senior officials from the Ministries of Commerce, Agriculture and the Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC) left for Mozambique on Tuesday morning to explore both short-term and long-term measures to import pulses from the African nation on a government to government basis.

There have been no much significant shortfall in other pulses in wholesale markets as the prices for varieties like urad ranged between Rs 10,800-12,300 and masoor Rs 6,050-6,350 per quintal. 

However, in the national capital, gram prices also saw slight decline. They had climbed to Rs 7,000-7,500 from previous level of Rs 6,300-6,950 per quintal on June 16, but on Tuesday (June 21), the whoseslae costs came down to Rs 6,800-7,300 per quintal, sources said. 

About 1.30 lakh tonnes of pulses were seized from hoarders in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi and other parts of northern India last week.

"Hoarding is a hard fact and this is reported from parts of north India including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. So far, adequate actions have been taken in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu," an official had said. 

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Income Tax department and local police have been conducting raids on people who are suspected to have been hoarding pulses to take advantage of the high prices, according to sources.