PMO officials and the cabinet secretariat had discussed with the inter-ministerial group of ministry of consumer affairs and the food ministry in the second week of December to clamp down on price manipulation.The trigger point of the raids was the failure of earlier measures to curtail prices. Sources said that the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and National Agricultural Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) failed to procure pulses on minimum support price (MSP). In Maharashtra, traders have rejected the offer of procurement agencies. Traders neither sell nor provide the farmers’ list to FCI, NAFED and Small Farmers’ Agriculture-Business Consortium (SFAC).The central government had issued an advisory to states to take strict action against hoarding and black marketing in July 2015. State governments have conducted 14,721 raids and seized 1.3 MT pulses.The government has started several initiatives to keep pulse prices affordable. Action plan documents show that pulse exports have been banned, except kabuli chana, and up to 10,000 MT of lentils and organic pulses.The government has extended zero import duty on pulses till September 30, 2016. It has also extended stock limit till September 2016. Still, there is no significant impact on prices.

Shrimi Choudhary
Dipu Rai

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I-T raids on brokerages, traders in 4 cities to check pulse hoarding