Heeding the advice of the Centre, some state governments have started selling tur dal at lower rates of Rs 120-140 a kg through their own retail outlets.
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are distributing a kg of tur dal at a highly subsidised rate of Rs 50 through ration shops, while Tamil Nadu is selling urad and Canadian lentils at Rs 30 a kg to consumers.
"Besides continuing enforcement measures to check hoarding of pulses, state governments have taken proactive steps to make pulses available at reasonable prices... these initiatives by states will help in keeping prices of pulses at affordable rates," said an official release issued by the consumer affairs ministry.
According to reports from states, price of tur dal for retail distribution has been fixed at Rs 140 a kg in Gujarat, Rs 120-140 in Chhattisgarh, and Rs 145 in Uttarakhand.
The Centre had asked state governments to hold meetings with millers, wholesalers and retailers to make pulses available in retail markets at reasonable prices, the release added.
In Gujarat, millers have agreed to supply tur dal at Rs 135 a kg and wholesalers charge one per cent commission on it, while in Chhattisgarh, 1-2 kg of tur dal is being distributed at Rs 120-140 a kg in 17 districts, through 150 outlets.
In Uttarakhand, tur dal is being supplied at Rs 145 a kg in Dehradun, Haridwar as well as Udhamsingh Nagar and instructions have been given to all districts to provide pulses at this rate via ration shops in the state.
Stating some states are already distributing pulses through the public distribution system (PDS), the ministry said: "Both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are distributing tur dal at Rs 50 per kg for BPL (below poverty line) and AAY (Antyodaya Anna Yojana) families."
In Haryana, 2.5 kg of chana is being given to BPL and AAY families via ration shops under the Dal Roti Scheme. The state government had directed cooperative Hafed to procure pulses from the market and sell at Rs 50 a kg through its 70-80 centres, the statement added.
In Himachal Pradesh, chana and masoor dal are being sold at Rs 40-50 a kg through PDS outlets.
Pulses prices have risen across the country due to a shortfall in domestic output by two million tonnes in 2014-15, owing to poor rains. Besides, there is a global shortage of lentils.
Nearly 75,000 tonnes of pulses were seized from hoarders in raids across 13 states till last week, as part of the measures to control retail prices.
According to consumer affairs ministry data, retail prices were ruling high at Rs 200 a kg on Monday, while urad was being sold at Rs 190 a kg, moong dal at Rs 130 a kg, masoor dal at Rs 110 a kg and gram at Rs 85 a kg.
In a related development, pulses traders in Odisha, where a few raids were conducted in the past few days demanded review of the Odisha Specified Foodstuffs (Stock Holding) Limit) Order, 2010 keeping in view the market demand.
"As the order was made five years ago, it needs to be revised. Traders need to be allowed to stock more quantity of foodstuffs," said Sudhakar Panda, president, Odisha Byabasayi Mahasangh.
According to Odisha Specified Foodstuffs (Stock Holding Limit) Order, a stockist can at best hold 750 quintal of pulses at a time.