Importers of pulses exempted from stock limits

Move to benefit farmers comes at a time when prices of pulses are showing a declining trend

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Image Credit: Shutterstock

The Centre has taken steps to crack down on the rising prices of pulses that would help farmers in a big way. Considering the softening of the prices and feedback received from state governments and various stakeholders, the government has relaxed stock limits for millers and wholesalers and exempted importers from the same. These entities shall however continue to declare stocks on the web portal of the Department of Consumer Affairs. The stock limits shall be applicable only to tur, urad, gram and masur.

The revised order provides that stock shall be applicable only on tur, masoor, urad, and chana, for a period up to October 31, 2021. It has been decided that importers of pulses will be exempted from stock limits and shall continue to declare stocks of pulses on the portal (fcainfoweb.nic.in) of the Department of Consumer Affairs.

For wholesalers, the stock limit will be 500 MT (provided there should not be more than 200 MT of one variety; for retailers, the stock limit will be 5 MT; and for Millers, stock limits will be last the six months’ production or 50 per cent of annual installed capacity, whichever is higher. The relaxation for millers will have a down-streaming effect in terms of giving assurance to farmers at this critical juncture of Kharif sowing of Tur and Urad.

Respective legal entities shall continue to declare the stocks on the portal (fcainfoweb.nic.in) of the Department of Consumer Affairs. In case the stocks held by them are higher than the prescribed limits, then the farmers shall bring it to the prescribed stock limits within 30 days of the issue of this notification.

It may be noted that the Government of India has been making continuous efforts to crack down on prices of essential commodities like pulses and had taken various measures like the stock declaration of pulses by the stockholders of different categories on May 14, 2021, and thereafter imposition of stock limits on pulses on July 2, 2021.

With the active cooperation of States /UTs and all stakeholders involved in the pulses trade, in a short span of two months, there were 8343 registrations by entities and stocks worth more than 30.01 lakh MT was declared on the web portal of the Department.

Prices of tur, urad, moong and gram started are showing a consistently declining trend. Beginning with the declaration of stocks on the portal by stockholders from mid-May of 2021 and constant monitoring of the same by central and state governments, to the imposition of stock limits for augmenting supplies in the first week of July, the interventions have consistently been aimed at cooling the retail prices of pulses. Wholesale prices of all the pulses (except Masur) have fallen by 3 to 4 per cent in the last two months and retail prices over the same period for all the pulses (except Masur) have fallen by 2 to 4 per cent.

The Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution recently took a meeting, in which the Minister of State was also present, with various stakeholders’ Associations, including importers, millers, wholesalers and retailers of Pulses, to discuss issues connected with imposition of stock limits on pulses. All the major associations assured their full cooperation towards the declaration of stocks on the web portal of the Department of Consumer Affairs and in ensuring that there is no hoarding and artificial scarcity.

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