Hike in pulse price a ‘rumour’, says traders’ body

Cuttack: The Malgodown Chamber of Commerce on Monday urged the people not to panic about report of a hike in the prices of pulses, which, it said, is a ‘rumour’.

Briefing media persons after a meeting convened by the district collector Nirmal Chandra Mishra at the collectorate here, joint secretary of the Malgodown Chamber of Commerce Prafulla Chhatoi said the collector had called the traders to ascertain the veracity of the reports on hike in the prices of pulses published in some vernacular dailies.

“We assured the collector that the traders’ body will cooperate with the district administration to ensure that there is no further rise in the prices of pulses,” he added.

Asked about the present stock of pulses in Malgodown and the possibility of a further price rise in their prices, Chhatoi said there is enough stock of pulses in the Malgodown. Though he said there has been a marginal increase in the price of some pulses in the last two weeks, the reports published in some print media about a steep hike in the prices of pulses are exaggerated.

“The fact remains that the prices of pulses is more or less steady in the state. At present, the sale price of pulses is Rs 140 per kg. Though the traders are importing pulses from the agencies outside the state at the above mentioned price, the sale price in Odisha is Rs 136-Rs 138 per kg depending on the quality. The traders are selling the pulses to the consumers at this price since the agencies have agreed to sell as per the old rate,” he pointed out.

Stating that there is no possibility of a hike in the price of pulses for now, he said the traders of Odisha would be forced to sell at a higher price if the concerned agencies increase the price of the pulses.

“Neither the state government and nor the traders’ body has any control over the prices of pulses. The unusual hike in the prices of pulses is due to poor harvest in the country this year. Since the Centre has asked the agencies to keep a minimum stock of pulses to meet the requirement of the states, there is no scope for traders in Odisha to import pulses with expected quantities,” he said.

Talking to the media, the district collector said the district administration has engaged a marketing inspector to keep a watch on the prices of all edible products, including pulses, in the Malgodown.

Talking about the hike in the prices of pulses, he quoted the traders’ body as saying the concerned agencies at times sell pulses through e-auction, pushing pulses price up to Rs 150-Rs 400 per quintal in the process and forcing them to sell the product at a higher rate.

Giving details of the wholesale rate of pulses at Malgodwn till date, Mishra said the toor dal (Harada dali) of different varieties are sold at Rs 124-Rs145 per kg, green gram (Muga dali) at Rs 85-Rs 95, yellow peas (Buta dali) at Rs 73-Rs 80, black gram (Biri dali) at Rs 145-170 and red lentil (Masura dali) at Rs 75-Rs 80.

He also informed that the price of tool dal is likely to go up as the Central government, under its new mandi system, has increased the price up to Rs 1300 per quintal. “The price is likely to grow up after the new consignment arrives in Odisha,” he added.

The collector also said the traders have been asked to inform the administration about the purchase price and wholesale price of pulses on a daily basis.