In a bid to increase availability and to prevent hoarding of pulses, Government has amended the Central Order under Essential Commodities Act, 1955 with immediate effect to enable imposition of stock limits on pulses sourced from imports, stocks held by exporters, stocks to be used as raw-materials by licensed food processors and stocks of Large Departmental Retailers.
In its earlier order extending the imposition of stock limits on pulses, edible oils and edible oil seeds, for one year up to 30.09.2016, Government had granted exemption to four categories of stocks i.e. stocks sourced from imports, held by exporters, by licensed food processors and large departmental retailers. Government has now withdrawn exemptions to stocks of pulses held by these four categories.
The Government has taken several measures for increasing the availability of pulses by banning export of pulses, extension of zero import duty on pulses and also import of 5000 tonnes of pulses from Price Stabilization Fund. To increase production of pulses, the minimum support price for Urad and Arhar dal have been increased to Rs.4625 per quintal and for Moong dal to Rs.4850 per quintal.
Union Finance Minister on 14.10.2015 chaired a high-level Inter-Ministerial meeting and took major decisions like creation of a buffer stock by procurement and imports of pulses, strict action against hoarders and black marketers, bearing transportation, handling and milling charges of imported pulses from the Price Stabilization Fund and encouraging States to lift stocks of imported pulses, among others.
Cabinet Secretary has also been reviewing the price situation on a daily basis. He directed all Departments to keep a close watch on prices of essential commodities, especially pulses and work in close coordination with all States to control price rise. All States have been advised to intensify anti-hoarding operations and keep in check black-marketing and profiteering by traders. 500 tonnes of Tur dal have been allotted to Kendriya Bhandar and 200 tonnes to Safal for distribution through over 400 outlets. Distribution has already started from 16th of October in New Delhi through these outlets.
All these measures are likely to increase the availability of pulses and cool down the prices.