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Business News/ News / India/  Tighter stock cap on tur, urad, for longer
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Tighter stock cap on tur, urad, for longer

The stock limits are aimed at preventing hoarding and ensuring enough quantities of the two pulses in the market at affordable prices, according to an official statement.


NEW DELHI : The government on Monday doubled down on measures to rein in runaway prices of urad and tur— two of the commonest Kharif pulses consumed in India—ahead of elections to five state Assemblies.

It firstly extended by two months— until 31 December—an order capping how much tur (pigeon pea) and urad (black gram) that wholesalers, retailers, importers and millers can hold.

Secondly, it slashed the stock limit as prices of the pulses continued to soar ahead of elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram in November and December.

Tur and urad together contribute two-thirds to the Kharif pulses production basket in India, particularly in southern states. At the same time, their prices have now soared beyond 12,000 per quintal and 8,950-9,850 a quintal, respectively against their minimum support price (MSP) of 6,600 a quintal.The government had fixed the tur MSP at 6,600 for the 2022-23 (April-September) Kharif marketing season and 7,000 per quintal for the 2023-24 season, which will come into effect with the arrival of fresh crops in December.

Tur is the most consumed variety of pulses in India, particularly in southern states.

The stock limits are aimed at preventing hoarding and ensuring enough quantities of the two pulses in the market at affordable prices, according to an official statement.

Mint first reported on 19 September about the Centre’s plan to tighten the stockholding limit on tur and urad and extend it by two months.

As per the notification issued on Monday by the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution, the limit for wholesalers and big chain retailers at the depot has been reduced from 200 tonnes to 50 tonnes. The limit for millers has been reduced from the last 3 months‘ production or 25% of annual capacity, whichever is higher, to last month’s production or 10% of annual capacity, whichever is higher.

Importers were instructed not to hold imported stocks beyond 30 days from the date of Customs clearance. The respective legal entities have to declare the stock position on DoCA (department of consumer affairs)’s portal. If the stocks held by them are higher than the prescribed limits then, they will have to bring them down to the prescribed limit within 30 days.

The Centre imposed the holding limit initially in January.

On Monday, the all-India wholesale prices of tur rose 35.6% on year and 6.8% on month to 13,713 a quintal. Wholesale prices went up 12% on-year and nearly 3% on-month to 10,741 a quintal.

As far as cultivation of these crops is concerned this Kharif season, the area under tur had dipped 2.6% to 4.3 million hectares and that under urad declined 0.7% to 3.2 million hectares till 15 September due to erratic monsoon.

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Puja Das
Puja Das is a New Delhi based policy reporter covering food, farm, fertiliser, water, and climate policies for Mint. Puja reports on farmers' distress and how the agriculture sector is impacting India's rural economy and policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at COP27. Puja holds a post-graduation degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, Bangalore.
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Published: 25 Sep 2023, 10:40 PM IST
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