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Govt measures didn't fructify into drastic decline in pulses' retail prices

 
By Animesh Deb
New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) Retail prices of nutrient-rich pulses have not shown any drastic decline in the past few months despite several interventions and measures introduced by the Centre to cool off prices.



Prices of the largest consumed pulses -- chana -- fell by just Re 1 to Rs 73 per kg in the past three months in key markets of Delhi, data from Price Monitoring Division of Department of Consumer Affairs showed. In Mumbai, on the other hand, it rose by Rs 6 during the same period to Rs 89.

For tur, prices have fallen by Rs 8 to Rs 102 per kg in Delhi during the period. In Mumbai, it fell by Rs 13 to Rs 101.

Urad prices have fallen by Rs 5 and Rs 14 per kg in Delhi and Mumbai, respectively. On Friday, it was priced at Rs 118 and Rs 115 per kg in the two key major consuming regions, respectively, the Price Monitoring Division data showed.

Almost the same is the case for both moong and masur.

In order to curb rising pulse prices apparently due to large hoarding, the Centre in July 2021 imposed a stock limit on all pulses except moong under the Essential Commodities Act as well as tightening its price monitoring mechanisms.

For masur, it had reduced the basic import duty to zero and Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess to 10 per cent from late July 2021.

Besides, the Centre has extended the ease in quantitative import restrictions policy for pulses such as tur, urad, and moong till March 2022. Earlier, only tur and urad were under the 'free' category, which was supposed to be over by December 31.

Myanmar, Canada and Tanzania are few major suppliers of pulses to India.

Even though India is a major producer of pulses, its domestic consumption outstrips the production, which pushes the country to import such commodities from other nations.

However, lately, the Centre has shown strong interest in raising domestic output of pulses and also took various initiatives as part of its self-sufficiency goal.

Furthermore, in December, 2021, it had suspended trade in futures contracts of some agricultural commodities for one year, including for that of chana.

According to data, consumer price inflation (CPI) jumped to a three month high of 4.9 per cent in November, while inflation on pulses moderated to 3.18 per cent in November compared with 5.42 per cent in October 2021.

With arrivals of rabi crops in the markets in next couple of months, any sharp price rise is unlikely to take place from here, said market participants.

As per the latest data available with Crops Division of Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, farmers have sown pulses over 15.2 million hectares of land as of December 31, 2021, as compared to 15.4 million hectares sowed during the same period previous season.

(Animesh Deb can be contacted at animesh.d@ians.in)

--IANS
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