The Centre has extended the stock limit on tur and urad, imposed under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, until December 31. It has lowered the maximum quantity that wholesalers and big chain retailers can keep to only 50 tonnes from 200 tonnes. The stock limit, first imposed on June 2, was scheduled to end on October 31.
Besides, the quantitative limit for miller/processor has been reduced from “last 3 months production or 25 per cent of annual capacity, whichever is higher,” to “last one-month production or 10 per cent of annual capacity, whichever is higher”, the Consumer Affairs Ministry said in a statement on Monday.
“The revision in stock limits and extension of the time period is 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,” the ministry said.
For big chain retailers, while the cap of 5 tonnes at each retail outlet will continue, it will now be 50 tonnes at depot level. In the case of importers, they are allowed to continue to keep imported stock up to 30 days from the date of Customs clearance.
The importers, processors/millers, wholesalers, retailers, are asked to continue to declare the stock position on the portal (https://fcainfoweb.nic.in/psp) of the Department of Consumer Affairs, though there is no definition of the term “regular” in the gazette notification.
Though government data show that tur sowing area this season has reached 43.69 lakh hectares (lh) as on September 22, against 46.06 lh in the year-ago period and that of urad at 32.79 lh against 33.31 lh last year, traders say the shortfall in acreage was more.
There would be severe yield drop in areas that were deficient in rainfall in August and got excess rains this month, traders said. Besides, the late sown pulses were also likely to lower the production.
Meanwhile, average retail price of tur dal was ₹149/kg as on September 25, up by 7 per cent from a month ago and by 35 per cent from the year-ago period. Similarly, the urad dal rate was ₹118/kg as on September 25, up 2 per cent from a month ago and by 11 per cent from the year-ago period, official data show.