With traders and importers voicing strong opposition to the stringent inventory limit on pulses imposed earlier this month, the Centre today relaxed probably the most limits for wholesalers and retailers and lifted it totally for importers inside days of imposing them.
There was no change in inventory 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 inventory holding limits.
As per revised order, wholesalers can now hold upto 500 tonnes of pulses given one variety must 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 final 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 once higher.
“The relaxation for millers will have a down-streaming effect in relation to giving an assurance to the farmers at this a very powerful juncture of kharif sowing of urad and tur,” an official observation said.
It added that because of 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 observation also said that on account of the more than a few measures initiated by the government in the previous few months, wholesale prices of all pulses except for masur have fallen by 3-4 per cent in the final 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 final two months as in the retail markets rates are still higher than final year.
“This is excellent news for the industry and a good decision taken by the government. The market may surge because of increasing inventory limits. But we will have to understand the government’s initiative to keep watch over prices, which is a great cause. Since this news broke on Monday, which is the opening of the week, the market may reinforce but for a limited time, as they’ve to liquidate stocks inside 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 Organization said that the move to chill out the inventory limits will smoothen supplies in the coming months and stabilize prices all through the forthcoming festive period.
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