Stock limit, licensing fee introduced for pulse, oil traders

Bhubaneswar: To rein in the uncontrolled spike in prices of pulses and oil, the Odisha government has issued a stock holding and licensing order. The order stipulates the quantity of pulses, oil seeds and oil that traders can hold in inventory. The State government has also introduced license fee and security deposit for trading in pulses while oil and oil seeds trading will now attract licensing fee.

According to sources, stock holding limit for wholesalers, retailers, importers and producers pertaining to inventory of pulses, oil and oil seeds has been fixed by the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department. At any given point in time, a wholesaler can stock a maximum of 2000 quintals of pulses and related products, while the limit for retailers has been set at 50 quintals. Similarly, for oil and oil seeds, the limit for wholesalers has been set at 2000 quintals while for retailers, it has been fixed at 50 quintals.

On the other hand, a licensing fee of Rs 5000 has been imposed for wholesalers trading in pulses and related products, while retailers will have to pay a fee of Rs 500. Moreover, security deposit of Rs 10,000 will also be collected from wholesalers.

Criticizing the introduction of license fee and security deposit, the traders association of Odisha has urged the government to increase the ceiling.

“This is a step which will check the sudden rise of prices in these commodities. Our main aim is to ensure that consumers pay the rightful prices,” said deputy director of Food Supplies department Pravakar Rout.

“There is no justification for giving lakhs of rupees to the government for trading. The amount of fees that have been prescribed are totally undemocratic and the traders association will definitely protest against it,” said Odisha traders’ association general secretary Sudhakar Panda.