Despite interventions, the prices of tur have refused to come down with consumer price inflation for the kitchen staple ruling at a 6-year-high of 32 percent in August, as per the government’s consumer price index.

The government has extended the time period for existing stock limits of pulses- tur and urad held by wholesalers, retailers, importers and millers from the earlier date of October 31 to December 31, end of year, an order issued in this regard by the Union Food and Consumer Affairs Ministry said.

As per the notification issued today, the limit for stock with wholesalers and also big chain retailers at depot has been reduced from 200 MT to 50 MT, and the limit for miller has been reduced from last 3 months production or 25 percent of annual capacity, whichever is higher, to last 1 month production or 10 percent of annual capacity, whichever is higher.

The revision in stock limits and extension of the time period have been done “to prevent hoarding and elicit the continuous release of Tur and Urad in sufficient quantities to the market and make tur dal and urad dal available at affordable prices for the consumers,” a statement by the ministry read.

Anticipating a shortfall in tur and urad output due to erratic weather, the Centre in January this year announced the extension of the duty-free import policy for tur and urad till March 31, 2024. The country produced 30 lakh tonne tur in the 2022-23 crop year, against the demand of 45 lakh tonne.

But despite interventions, the prices have refused to come down with consumer price inflation for the kitchen staple tur, ruling at a 6-year-high of 34 percent in July as per the government’s consumer price index.

The consumer inflation for tur had breached the 35 percent mark, last in the July of 2016, when a steep shortfall had hit the country due to two consecutive droughts. The modal price for this essential commodity was ruling at Rs 140 per kilogram on August 23, 2023, up from Rs 110 this time last year.

The imposition of stock limits on tur and urad is another step in the consistent efforts taken by the government to crack down on the prices of essential commodities.

The Department of Consumer Affairs has been closely monitoring the stock position of tur and urad through a stock disclosure portal — reviewed on a weekly basis with state governments.

Extensive interactions with various stakeholders like importers, millers, and retailers were held to ensure the disclosure of stocks, including visits by senior officers to Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu to assess the ground situation.

The country’s tur production is pegged lower at 3.43 million tonnes in the 2022-23 crop year (July-June) against 4.22 million tonnes in the previous year, while urad output is estimated to be down at 2.61 million tonnes from 2.77 million tonnes, as per the third estimated of the agriculture ministry.

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