Days after the Delhi government, in partnership with Delhi Grain Merchant Association, began selling pulses through retail outlets across the city, the rates of some main pulses like Arhar and Malka (Red) have shown a decline.
Since February 10, more than 400 retail outlets—Mother Dairy, Kendriya Bhandar and National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India (NCCF)—across Delhi have been selling 10 important pulses, thus helping reduce the Delhiites’ grocery bills.
One of them is Manu Verma, whose husband used to spend long hours commuting to INA market or Yusuf Sarai market. “I have already tried white chana and rajma,” Verma said at a Mother Dairy outlet.
Another buyer, Priyanka Bhanot, a lawyer, said, “We bought a packet of arhar dal on Sunday. It is good and reasonable.” Joginder Singh, who mans the Mother Dairy outlet near Mandi House, said the scheme had a “stupendous response” and said, “Arhar and Moong packets are selling like hot cakes.”
A quick survey by HT at random retail outlets across Delhi revealed that prices are coming down. Kulbhushan Kadamb, a retailer from Malviya Nagar, said, “If the government sells it at such a low price, we have to maintain a lower price.”
Jayshree Raghuraman, secretary Delhi’s Food and Supplies Department, said, “We found that the wholesale prices of pulses were not that high, but retail prices were going north due to high rentals and transportation cost. It is this gap between the wholesale and retail that we wish to bridge with our market intervention.”
A whopping 500 tons of pulses—a major share of it being Arhar dal—has been sold till Tuesday since the scheme started. “This ‘Bhagidari’ endeavour is a win-win situation for the consumers, wholesalers and the grain merchants,” pointed out Naresh Gupta, president of the Delhi Grain Merchants Association.
Kendriya Bhandar sells nine pulses supplied under this scheme along with nine others. “The retail rates in open markets have slowly but steadily started coming down for other pulses barring Moong Dal and Urad Dal,” observed Kendriya Bhandar’s Assistant General Manager (Grocery) Dinesh Mishra.