July 8, 2021 8:35:39 pm
A few days after the central government announced stock limits for every stakeholder in pulses trade, traders across the country continue to protest against the move. While traders in parts of Maharashtra have called for a day-long bandh, other traders have decided to discontinue buying the produce as they will not be able to adhere to the stock limit.
To curb rising prices of pulses, the central government had introduced stock limits on holding of pulses. As per the directive, wholesale traders and importers can now stock up to 200 tonnes (with a cap of 100 tonnes for a single pulse) and retailers can stock 2 tonnes of pulses.
Processors and millers can stock up to 25 per cent of their installed capacity or last three months of stock. Moong is the only pulse which has been exempted from the stock limits.
The announcement of the stock limits comes at a time when kharif sowing has come to a halt due to delayed monsoon rain. Traders have pointed out that barring masoor, most other pulses are trading well below the government-declared Minimum Support Price.
In Maharashtra, traders in Vidarbha have decided to go for a one-day bandh to protest against this limit. Most traders in Marathwada have said the stock limit has compelled them to stop trade.
Dal millers pointed out that the stock limit prescribed for them might not be very low, but they lend out their space to other traders also. Demand in the markets is relatively low due to the pandemic and traders and millers are stuck with unsold stock. Imposing stock limits for importers is non-feasible as they import 50,000-60,000 tonnes in containers, said traders.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sudhir Kothari, chairman of the Hinganghat Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC), Wardha, has pointed out that since the gazette notification about stock limits, most traders have stopped procuring the produce from farmers. “At present, tur and chana are still arriving in the market but most traders are wary of procuring other pulses,” stated the letter, urging the government to reconsider the decision.
Similarly, the Gujarat Dal Utpadak Mandal has also asked the Centre to reconsider the move. The Mandal’s letter, addressed to Union minister Piyush Goyal, stated that the move would not allow the central government to fulfil its mission of doubling farmers’ incomes.
Processors’ associations from Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and other states have also protested against the move.
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