Retailers continued to await the supplies of the seized tur dal for the second day on Saturday, after the state government announced that the stocks will be released in the market and the pulse will be sold at Rs100 a kilo.
At present, superior-quality pigeon pea or tur dal is available in the wholesale market at Rs156 a kg and it is priced around Rs200 a kg in the retail market.
Consumers said they visited several stores, but came back empty handed.
“I have been to various stores for the past two days hoping to buy tur dal at Rs100 a kg, but every shopkeeper said they were not aware of seized stocks being released,” said Sunita Desai, a Wadala resident.
Some wholesalers claimed it will take more time for the seized stocks to hit the market.
“Under pressure from the government, some millers have released 30-50 tonnes of processed tur dal, which has gone to some private retail stores. It will take some time for the importers procure stocks and get them in market. We will only see some change by next week,” said Popatlal Bhandari, secretary of Grain Rice and Oilseeds Merchants Association (GROMA).
The government claimed to have seized 67,000 metric tonnes of various pulses from the traders. Of the 13,000 metric tonnes of tur dal that has been seized, only 6,000 metric tonnes is processed, while remaining is still to be milled.
Consumer activists said this as a complete failure on part of the state to distribute seized pulses successfully.
“The whole system is in a mess. Nobody has a clue about when and how the seized pulses will be available. We have been given traders’ numbers, but they don’t have the stocks,” said Shirish Deshpande, chairman, Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP).
Sharing similar views, an official from Sahakari Bhandar said, “The food and civil supplies department assured us that about the supply. But we haven’t received anything yet. We have no clue about the quantity or quality of tur dal we will get through the scheme.”
Big Bazaar though claimed to be selling tur dal at Rs99 a kg. But on further inquiry, it was learned that the stocks were available only at the newly-opened stores in Dahisar and Malad.