Dal prices stay high in re­tail mkt, state says rates will set­tle

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Pra­jakta Ku­nal Rane pra­jakta.cha­van@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Buy­ing dal will con­tinue to pinch your pocket, as the prices of the most com­monly used va­ri­eties have not dropped be­low the Rs200-mark in the re­tail mar­ket for a couple of months.

A kilo­gram of tur dal costs Rs230 in the re­tail mar­ket, while urad dal is Rs200, de­spite the state gov­ern­ment’s prom­ise to crack down on traders to bring down the rates.

With the price of the pulses re­duc­ing in the whole­sale mar­ket — both tur and urad dal cost around Rs155 — con­sumer activists are blam­ing prof­i­teer­ing by traders and the lack of gov­ern­ment in­ter­ven­tion for re­tail prices stay­ing high.

Two months ago, the steep hike in the prices of the In­dian kitchen sta­ple forced the Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment to seize 67,000 met­ric tonnes from traders, in­clud­ing 13,000 tonnes of tur dal. To bring the prices un­der con­trol, the gov- ern­ment said the seized tur dal will be auc­tioned off and traders will be asked to sign an un­der­tak­ing that they will sell it for Rs100 a kg.

“Forget about re­lief, the sit­u­a­tion has ac­tu­ally be­come worse this month, com­pared to Oc­to­ber. We have been in­sist­ing that re­leas­ing the pulses to traders will not give con­sumers any re­lief. The state should have dis­trib­uted the seized stock us­ing the pub­lic dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tem, un­der the Es­sen­tial Com­modi­ties Act,” said Shirish Desh­pande, the chair­man of the Mum­bai Grahak Pan­chayat (MGP), a con­sumer rights or­gan­i­sa­tion.

CON­TIN­UED ON P10

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