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Traders miffed with govt order to impose stock limit on pulses; urges Piyush Goyal for its withdrawal


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Stock limits were prescribed for all pulses except Moong until October 31, 2021, for all states and union territories.

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Wednesday sent a memorandum to Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal urging him to withdraw the recent government notification prescribing stock limit of pulses to 200 metric tonne for wholesalers and 5 metric tonne for retailers. According to CAIT, foodgrain traders are “up in arms” against the notification which they believe is arbitrary, unjustified, and contravenes the government’s own policy as it stands “against the normal business practices of pulses trade in the country.” Traders “regretted” that no consultation was held by the government with them before issuing the notification “which is a contravention of the advice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking stakeholders in confidence before taking any policy issue.”

Industry body India Pulses and Grains Association’s spokesperson wasn’t immediately available for comments.

Consumers Affairs Ministry on Friday had said that in a consistent effort to crackdown on prices of essential commodities like pulses, it imposed stock limits on pulses applicable to wholesalers, retailers, millers, and importers through an order. Stock limits were prescribed for all pulses except Moong until October 31, 2021, for all states and union territories.

According to the order, the stock limit would be 200 MT for wholesalers, 5 MT for retailers while it would be the last three months of production or 25 per cent of annual installed capacity, whichever is higher, for the millers. On the other hand, for importers, the stock limit would be the same as that of wholesaler for stocks held/imported prior to May 15, 2021, and for stocks imported after that, the stock limit applicable on wholesalers will apply after 45 days from the date of customs clearance.

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According to CAIT, in September 2020, the Government had categorically announced that the Essential Commodity Act or stock limit will be enforced only when the price of the pulses will be either 50 per cent higher than the MSP or there is an emergency situation in the country. However, in “defiance” of this announcement of the government, the said notification on July 2 was issued.

“There are precisely eight types of pulses and after blending and processing them, they are converted in to more than 30 types of pulses. It is beyond imagination that more than 30 types of pulses will be stocked in just 100 M/T at the end of the wholesalers,” B.C. Bhartia, National President, and Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General, CAIT jointly said in a statement. Currently, there are around 5 lakh traders in food grains businesses in India providing employment to over 23 lakh people engaged primarily for loading and unloading of goods.

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