With traders and importers voicing strong opposition to the stringent stock limit on pulses imposed earlier this month, the Centre today relaxed some of the limits for wholesalers and retailers and lifted it completely for importers within days of imposing them.
There has been no change in stock holding limit for retailers which has been kept at 5 metric tonnes.
Smaller pulses such as kidney beans (rajma), kabuli chana, lobia (black-red eye beans), peas and moth have also been taken out of the purview of the stock holding limits.
As per revised order, wholesalers can now hold upto 500 tonnes of pulses provided one variety should not exceed 200 metric tonnes.
In the earlier order issued on July 2, wholesalers could hold only 200 tonnes of pulses. (see chart)
That apart, millers can now hold stocks which are equivalent to their last six months of production or 50 per cent of annual installed capacity whichever is higher.
Earlier, millers could hold stocks equivalent to three months of their production or 25 percent of annual installed capacity whichever was higher.
“The relaxation for millers will have a down-streaming effect in terms of giving an assurance to the farmers at this crucial juncture of kharif sowing of urad and tur,” an official statement said.
It added that due to the crackdown on pulses hoarders, in two months around 8343 registrations of stocks have been made on the official portal while stocks of around 3 million tonnes have been declared.
The official statement also said that because of the various measures initiated by the government in the last few months, wholesale prices of all pulses except masur have fallen by 3-4 per cent in the last two months and retail prices over the same period have fallen by 2-4 months.
Earlier, this month, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey had said that pulses stocks limits have been imposed despite a cooling down of prices in the last two months as in the retail markets rates are still higher than last year.
“This is good news for the industry and a good decision taken by the government. The market may surge on account of increasing stock limits. But we must understand the government’s initiative to control prices, which is a good cause. Since this news broke on Monday, which is the opening of the week, the market may improve but for a limited time, as they have to liquidate stocks within 30 days. Good news for Pea, Kabuli Chana, Moth, Lobia, Rajma,” said Rahul Chauhan, of iGrain India, a commodity trading and research firm.
Bimal Kothari, vice chairman of Indian Pulses and Grains Association said that the move to relax the stock limits will smoothen supplies in the coming months and stabilize prices during the forthcoming festive period.
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First Published: Mon, July 19 2021. 19:46 IST