The Centre on Friday imposed stock limits on all pulses except moong for wholesalers, retailers, millers and importers, to bring down the prices of these items, which have risen in retail markets since March.
The Removal of Licensing Requirements, Stock Limits and Movement Restrictions on Specified Foodstuffs (Amendment) Order, 2021 has been issued with immediate effect from July 2.
According to the order issued by the food ministry, valid until October 31, wholesalers can keep with them maximum 200 tonne of all pulses, including not more than 100 tonne in one variety. The stock limit for retailers has been fixed at 5 tonne. For millers, the limit is total production during last three months or 25% of annual installed capacity, whichever is higher.
Importers are allowed to keep maximum 200 tonne of all pulses, including not more than 100 tonne in one variety (same as for wholesalers), for stocks held/imported before 15th May. However, this same stock limit will be applicable on importers after 45 days from date of customs clearance for stocks imported after May 15.
“If the stocks of entities exceed the prescribed limits, they have to be declared on the online portal (fcainfoweb.nic.in) of Department of Consumer Affairs and have to be brought within the prescribed limit within 30 days of the notification of this order,” the official statement said. Since the entire country has been reeling under the impact of the pandemic, the government has been committed to adopting timely measures and has substantially alleviated the concerns and anguish of the common man, it said.
From March-April, there has been a sustained increase in the price of pulses. This led to the Centre requesting states in May to ensure that millers, importers, dealers and stockists are registered and they declare their pulses stocks to government under the Essential Commodities Act. As a result, there have been 7,001 registrations and stocks worth 28.31 lakh tonne have been declared by traders.
Besides, in order to enhance domestic availability, ban on import of tur, urad and moong was lifted for the period between May 15 and October 31. The government also signed a 5-year agreement with Myanmar for annual import of 2.5 lakh tonne of urad and 1 lakh tonne of tur. It also signed similar agreement with Malawi for importing of 1 lakh tonne of tur every year, and with Mozambique for 2 lakh tonne of tur per year in next five years.
Food prices are the major driver of retail inflation, chief economic adviser Krishnamurthy Subramanian said Friday. Retail inflation spiked to a six-month high of 6.30% in May, as food inflation returned, aided by a 30.84% rise in oils and fats, and price pressure in fuel and light surged (11.58%). Retail food inflation widened to 5.01% in May from 1.96% in the previous month, while eggs surged by 15.16%, non-alcoholic beverages by 15.10% and fruit 11.98%.