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Setting up an MRP for pulses so that they are not sold at unnaturally high prices to consumers
India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), the nodal body for the pulses trade and industry in India, recently held a press conference to draw the attention of the Government towards the effects on the trade following the instructions issued by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
The Dept. of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) on May 17, had asked the Food and Civil Supplies Departments of State/UT Governments to use the provisions of the Essential Commodities Act (EC Act) 1955 to ensure adequate availability of the scheduled commodities at fair prices to the common people.
The DoCA has also advised the State Departments to direct pulses stockholders like Millers, Importers, Traders, etc. to declare their stock holding and also to verify the same.
Bimal Kothari, Vice Chairman – IPGA stated, “As per the 3rd Advance Estimates data sourced from the website of the Ministry of Agriculture, for the Crop year 2020-21, Tur production is expected to be lower by almost 7 lakh metric tons and Urad is expected to be lower by 5.20 lakh metric tons and the overall Kharif Production is expected to be lower by 2.12 million MT. However, as per trade estimates, the production for Tur has been around 2.90 million MT, Urad approx. 2.06 million metric tons, Moong around 2 million metric tons, Chana around 9 million MT and Masoor around 0.95 million MT.”
IPGA, in the press conference, has suggested a few steps that can be initiated by the Government, more so by the DoCA:
- Setting up an MRP (maximum retail price) for pulses so that they are not sold at unnaturally high prices to consumers. This can be achieved by the DoCA basis the data that wholesalers and retailers upload to the DoCA website on a daily basis.
- IPGA has urged the Government to explore the option of using import duties as an option to protect the interests of domestic farmers as well as the consumers. The Government can impose duties to a level that ensure the final landing price of the imported pulses stays well above the MSP.
- IPGA has urged the Government to ensure that any changes in policy framework is maintained for atleast a period of 6 to 9 months to ensure that there is no speculation that could affect the prices overseas and in India and the trade can function in a smooth and efficient manner.