Importers offer to aid soaring dal prices

RSTV Bureau

Symbolic Image ( PTI )

As dal prices continue to soar, pulses importers have offered to supply imported tur dal at Rs 135 per kg to the government. In return, the importers seek exemption from stock holding limits from the state.

When the pulses crisis escalated, the Centre brought importers, exporters, departmental stores owners and licensed food processors under the stock holding limit to check hoarding. But, the government looked to the importers to boost supplies.

Indian Pulses and Grains Association members met the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday to discuss the problems faced by the importers in getting pulses from the global market.

“Pulses prices will come down only if there is smooth availability of imported dals. Therefore, pulses imports and importers should be exempted from the stock holding limit,” said Chairman Praveen Dongre of Mumbai-based Indian Pulses and Grains Association.

According to Dongre, “any kind of restriction will dry the pipeline” as importers have already contracted 25 lakh tonnes of pulses for delivery till January and about 2.5 lakh tonnes are lying at ports.

He further said that the Finance Minister has heard their proposal of supplying 1 lakh kgs of imported tur dal at Rs 135 per kg on a daily basis and taken note of the importers’ issues.

The Association also mentioned that the average stock holding limit for importers is about 300-350 tonnes in states and that imports would be difficult with such limits as a vessel carries a minimum of 50,000 tonnes of pulses.

Besides strictly implementing stock holding limits, the government has taken other measures to face the crisis. A buffer stock of 40,000 tonnes is being created. Different pulses are being imported to provide relief to common people. The state governments have also seized thousands of tonnes of pulses from hoarders during raids. In a statement from the Consumer Affairs Ministry, four state governments seized over 15,000 tonnes of pulses from hoarders on Friday.

As per the data maintained by the Consumer Affairs Ministry, retail tur dal prices are still continuing to rule as high as up to Rs 205/kg, urad at Rs 198/kg, moong dal at Rs 130/kg, masoor dal at Rs 110/kg and gram (chana) at Rs 85/kg.

(With inputs from PTI)