Dal Prices Race Towards Rs 200; Govt Orders Crackdown

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Prices of pulses have soared in the last few weeks, pushing retail inflation higher, with Urad Dal now inching closer to the Rs 200 mark. The pulse was last trading at Rs 196 per kg, while Tur dal hit Rs 167 per kg mark.

Dal Prices Race Towards Rs 200; Govt Orders Crackdown
According to PTI reports, intelligence agencies have asked to crack down on cartels, while trading in the futures segment was restricted to curb speculation and make hay while the sunshines.

"Efforts were also beefed up to sell larger quantities of pulses at highly-subsidised rates through government agencies and outlets, but any favourable results were hardly visible in the retail and wholesale markets," PTI reported.

Taking forward the decisions taken at a high-profile meeting chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley yesterday, the Food Ministry decided to enhance the buffer stock of pulses from 1.5 lakh tonnes to 8 lakh tonnes.

Markets regulator Sebi joined hands by banning any fresh futures market position in chana, the only commodity among pulses where such trading was allowed.

At the outlets of the government agencies, further stocks were added to sell pulses at subsidised rates, including at Rs Rs 60 per kg for chana (gram) dal and 120 per kg for urad and tur dal.

Concerned over rising prices, Consumer Affairs Secretary Hem Pande held a meeting with the officials of Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), the Income Tax, the Enforcement Directorate and Intelligence Bureau (IB).

He also interacted with state government officials of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi via video conferencing and asked them to be alert to check hoarders.

The RBI has had its work-cut out after inflation hit a 16-month high. Earlier this month, the country's central bank left interest rates unchanged, as worries over inflation remained.

With inputs from PTI

Read more about: dal, cpi inflation
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