Traders attribute rise in pulse prices to hoarding by big firms

Bhubaneswar/Cuttack: Prices of pulses are going up due to hoarding by large size companies selling essential commodities, especially malls, alleged traders on Saturday.

Prafulla Chhatoi, Secretary of Cuttack Malgodown Byabasayai Sangh, said, “I believe drought and the Centre’s decision to impose stock limit on traders are the reason behind surge in prices of the essential commodities.”

Expressing similar views, Binod Chandra Sahu, President of the Cuttack Malgodwn Khuchura Byabasyai Sangh, said, “The government has put a limit on the stock of pulses local businessmen and semi wholesalers can keep. However, malls are permitted by the government to keep pulses of unlimited quantity leading to hoarding.”

Sudhakar Panda, General Secretary of the Odisha Byabasyai Mahasangh, said, “If the government asks us for suggestions, we will tell them what can be done to arrest the price. The reason for the rise in the rates of pulses is the entry of multinational companies into sale of essential commodities, thereby creating artificially shortage.”

Meanwhile, consumers are at the receiving end due to the price hike of pluses.

A consumer at the Cuttack Malgodown said, “As the pulse price has increased, we have to manage with 1 kg of pulses instead of two kilos. Now the price has reached Rs 145-150 from Rs 120 earlier.”

Notably, in the last three days, prices of all varieties of pulses have increased by Rs 15-20. At Cuttack Malgodown, the biggest wholesale market in the State, Arhar dal was being sold at Rs 145/kg as compared to Rs 125-130/kg earlier. Similarly, the Biri Dal was sold at Rs 140/kg as against Rs 120/kg three days back. The Gram dal rate also increased to Rs 75/kg from Rs 60/kg.