ALTHOUGH THE wholesale rates of pulses have come down significantly ahead of GST implementation from July 1, retailers have been still selling pulses at exorbitant rates, with consumers feeling the pinch. Even those who usually stock pulses are not doing so right now, opting to instead sell their stocks at prevailing wholesale rates before GST comes into force.
Wholesale suppliers say that majority of consumers, who have become used to paying high rates for pulses in the past few years, are not even aware about the actual rates of pulses that gives a major advantage to retailers. There will be no tax on pulses after the implementation of GST. At present, 6.80 per cent tax is being charged.
On Tuesday the rates of various pulses were between Rs 6,500 to Rs 7,000 per quintal (Rs. 65 to Rs 70 per kg) at local Mandi Fenton Ganj Jalandhar but on the same day the retailers in Jalandhar were selling the same pulses at the rate of Rs 100 to Rs 120 per kg across the city.
The inquiries made from various retailers revealed that they have been able to sell the pulses at high rates just because there was no check on them from any quarter. “Ever since the government has shown seriousness towards the implementation of GST, the rates of pulses have started coming down in the past couple of months but the retailers have been selling it at the state rate which they were selling before when the rates of pulses were quite high in wholesale market too,” said one of the partners of Aggarwal Brothers, an Amritsar-based wholesale enterprise, adding that people should see this huge difference themselves and decide.
“The rate of arhar dal has come down from Rs 120 to Rs 65 to 70 per kg in wholesale but the retailers have been selling it at the rate of Rs 100 to 110 per kg. Similarly, moong dal is being sold at the rate of Rs 95 to 100 per kg against the wholesale rate of Rs 65 per kg,” said another wholesaler in the same Fenton Ganj Mandi, which is one of the main wholesale markets of Jalandhar, adding that retailers are fleecing the poor ruthlessly.
“I have kept a stock of nearly 2,000 quintal pulses of all varieties but now we are not taking any more rather selling our stocks at wholesale price because if we will not clear our stocks right now then there will be a big loss to us after the implementation of GST and we might not even able to meet the expense which we spent to stock it,” said a major stockist of pulses in Jalandhar, who did not wish to be named.
District Food and Supply Officer Jalandhar Narinder Singh said the department can always get checked the quality of any product but as for as rates are concerned it depends on demand and supply. “If there is huge difference in the wholesale and retail price of the pulses then we will definitely get it checked and orders would be issued to the retailers to sell the pulses at the reasonable prices so that there should not be a huge difference in wholesale and retail price of the pulses,” said the officer.