Mumbai: Vendors selling tur dal above government-set prices in Maharashtra may attract a fine or jail term.
The state cabinet on Tuesday approved a draft bill to control the retail prices of pulses, especially tur dal. The legislation, however, will need to be approved by the Centre. An official at the state’s food and civil supplies department said Maharashtra would be the first state to have such a law.
“The proposed act will be complementary to the existing Essential Commodities Act of 1955 and will apply to all pulses. The law will empower the state to determine different prices for pulses in urban, semi-urban, and rural areas and retailers will be mandated to sell at those prices only,” the official said, requesting anonymity.
Low yields of pulses in 2014-15 had led to higher retail prices. In 2015-16, the national output of pulses is estimated to be 17.33 million tonnes, only marginally higher than the 2014-15 yield of 17.15 million tonnes.
In Maharashtra, more than 1.8 million hectares come under pulses cultivation and the state’s output in 2015-16 is estimated to be 576,000 metric tonnes.