The Centre today directed states to lift stock limits on traders with immediate effect in order to protect farmers who are not getting support price for their fresh produce due to estimated bumper crop this year.
The Union Consumer Affairs Ministry has withdrawn powers given to states under the Essential Commodities Act to impose stock limits on pulses traders.
"In order protect the interest of farmers, we have directed states to lift stock limits on all pulses," Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan tweeted.
States have been asked to remove stock limits on pulses with immediate effect keeping in view the sharp fall in prices and sufficient supply of dals, he said.
The stock limit on pulses were in place on and off prior to 2015. But states were empowered to implement it strictly towards the end of 2015 when dal prices soared to Rs 200/kg to check hoarding and contain price rise.
Welcoming the move, India Pulses and Grain Association Chairman Pravin Dongre said. "The decision of the government to lift stock limits is prudent and timely."
Dongre said that this will remove the supply bottlenecks and create a level playing field for growers, sellers and consumers alike.
"The risks of under-stocking at dealer level and over- supply at the grower levels have been mitigated by this timely step," he added.
With a series of measures taken to check price rise and boost local supply in last two years, the country's pulses production has improved and is expected to touch a record 22.40 million tonnes in 2016-17 crop year ending June -- up by 37 per cent from the year-ago period. This is expected to reduce the country's dependence on imports.