NEW DELHI: With tur dal spiking to a record Rs 210 per kg, the Centre on Tuesday swung into action and carried out surprise raids against hoarders for violating stock limits and seized over 5,800 tonnes of pulses.
Households across the country have been hit the hardest since last week, with market pushing tur and urad dal prices to Rs 210 and Rs 198 per kg respectively and sparking fears of another jump this week. Price of tur dal soared by Rs 40 per kg within a week. The price of urad dal has shot up by over Rs 30 per kg in Chennai in the last six days.
According to the Price Monitoring Cell of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Bengaluru too witnessed a huge price swing in pulses, with tur dal selling at Rs 205 per kg and urad dal at Rs 185 in the retail market on Tuesday.
The government had decided to import 10,000 tonnes of pulses in September to augment supplies, hoping that prices will come down within a few weeks. However, last week’s variation report produced by the Consumer Affairs Ministry suggests that inflation is getting out of control. Data shows tur dal was selling at Rs 170 per kg in Puducherry on October 13. It was selling at Rs 175 in Chennai last week.
Amidst the gloom that surrounds the essential commodities market, Cabinet Secretary
P K Sinha chaired a high-level meeting to review imposition of stock limits on pulses. A senior official said the government expects prices to remain steady for a few days before eventually declining from next week.
Meanwhile, raids in Madhya Pradesh yielded 2,295 metric tonnes of pulses. In Telangana, 2,546 metric tonnes of pulses were seized. “Imported pulses have been allocated to Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu as per their requests. Other states have also been asked to indicate their immediate requirements from the imported stocks for distribution through retail outlets,” the Centre said.
The blow to the poor man’s protein is turning into an election plank in Bihar, where JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar launched a scathing attack on the Centre for the price rise. Nitish took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said purane din (old days) should be brought back so that PM can keep his acche din promise. The Centre fielded Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and Food Minister Ramvilas Paswan to counter Nitish’s jibe. The Union ministers claimed that Bihar had not utilised the Price Stabilisation Fund.