Tur dal is being sold below MSP in 3 states, expected to slump further
The Dollar Business Bureau
Tur dal prices came down to Rs.4500 per quintal, as it has fallen by more than half in the last quarter alone. In addition to the bumper crop of the commodity last year, supported by the Government’s demonetisation drive, the prices have crashed to a record level.
The major tur dal producing countries including Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat had a good crop year in 2016. In Karnataka, the total production is projected to touch 20-25 lakh metric tonnes compared to 12.50 lakh metric tonnes last year.
Wholesale prices in the country’s main tur dal markets fell to Rs.4,500-4,875 per quintal. Tur dal prices had touched Rs.250 a kg around the same time last year. This year, however, the prices have come down to Rs.70-75 per kg in the wholesale markets, and around Rs.90 – Rs.110 in the retail market. The traders feel that tur dal prices may fall to Rs.50-60 a kg in the next fortnight.
While the prices have continued to witness a fall, the government is looking to distribute the commodity through PDS shops. The government is planning to set up a federation of pulses, which purchases pulses at a fixed price and sells them when the rates are high.
The government is already giving one kg of tur dal per family through BPL.
Amid the falling prices of tur dal, the government has decided to crack down on the traders who are purchasing as well as encouraging purchases of tur dal at less than the minimum support prices.
Late last month, the Maharashtra state government had warned traders who were purchasing tur dal below the MSP of Rs,5,050 per quintal and said any traders involved in such activity might face suspension of their licences.
"The Centre has been dealing with the matter of purchase and sale of tur dal on a very serious note. Accordingly, MSP of tur dal has been fixed and those refusing to pay it would be subjected to stern action," said Mary Neelima Kerketta, managing director of the Maharashtra State Cooperative Marketing Federation Ltd.