Pulses prices soar past Rs 100/kg; no tenders yet for import
Amid a supply crunch, retail prices of many pulses have crossed Rs 100 per kg mark in major cities across the country, but the government agencies are yet to float the tender for their import to check the price.
Barring gram and masoor dal, all major varieties of pulses -- including tur, urad and moong -- are being sold at prices above Rs 100 per kg in the four metro cities due to lower production of the key lentils during the last harvest.
Consumers in Mumbai and Chennai are paying the maximum price for tur, urad and moong, followed by Delhi and Kolkata.
Prices have increased by more than 60 <g data-gr-id="29">per cent</g> in the last one year as the domestic production fell by nearly two million tonnes (MT) in 2014-15 crop year (July-June) due to unfavourable weather conditions.
To check the prices, the government has decided to boost supply by importing pulses in large <g data-gr-id="32">quantities,</g> while it has also finalised the modalities for the import through <g data-gr-id="30">state-trading</g> agencies like MMTC.
However, they are yet to float the import tenders.
The government last week also announced a significant hike in the MSP of pulses by <g data-gr-id="28">upto</g> Rs 275/quintal to encourage domestic production and ensure adequate supply.
Though India produces 18-19 million tonnes of pulses, it also imports 3-4 million tonnes annually to meet the domestic shortages.
According to the data maintained by the Consumer Affairs Ministry, <g data-gr-id="37">tur</g> prices in Mumbai and Chennai have increased to Rs 116/kg at present, from Rs 72-79/kg in the year-ago period, while rates of urad dals have risen to Rs 121-123/kg from Rs 79-84/kg in the said period.
Similarly, moong prices in these two cities have shot up to Rs 111/kg from Rs <g data-gr-id="31">92-97/kg,</g> while gram dal rates have increased to Rs 68-70/kg from Rs 47-61/kg in the period under review.
In Delhi and Kolkata, consumers are paying Rs 105-113/kg for <g data-gr-id="38">tur</g> at present, as against Rs 68-73/kg in the year-ago period. They are paying Rs 108-112/kg for urad, Rs 103-105/kg for moong, Rs 84-94/kg for masoor and Rs 64-68/kg for gram.