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The Centre on Friday asked all States and Union Territories to keep a tight vigil on stocks of traders of tur dal. This comes amid reports of prices of tur dal going up since second week of July.

The Centre is keeping a close eye on pulse prices. The directive comes on the heels of reports that tur dal sales are being restricted in order to create artificial scarcity. It currently has 38 lakh tonnes of pulses in buffer stock, which is being released to supplement the domestic supply.

Department of Consumer Affairs on Friday issued a "directive to all the States and UTs to enforce stock disclosure by stockholders of Tur under Section 3(2)(h) and 3(2)(i) of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955".

States have been asked to ensure that traders upload the data of stocks held by them on the department's online monitoring portal. They have been asked to monitor and verify the stocks closely. The updates should be on weekly basis.

"There are reports that some sections of stockists and traders are resorting to restricted sales in an attempt to create artificial scarcity to push the price upward," the statement added.

Following the slow progress in sowing of Kharif crop compared to last year, the retail prices of tur dal is increasing from second week of July. The sowing area is less due to excess rainfalls and water logging in major tur growing states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka.

"The Centre is closely watching the overall availability and prices of pulses in the domestic as well as overseas markets to take necessary pre-emptive measures in an event of unwarranted price rise in the upcoming high demand festival months," the statement said.

The Centre also affirmed that there is sufficient availability of pulses in the market and it is all releasing more from its stock of 38 lakh tonnes. This additional release will further augment the supply.

As on 12 August, the area under pulses cultivation is at 122.11 lakh hectares down from 127.22 hectares last year. When it comes to tur dar, the acreage has fallen from 47.55 lakh hectares to 42 lakh hectares.

 

With Inputs from PTI.

 

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