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Market regulation a must to check pulse price rise

APPREHENSION OF low production of rabi pulses due to abrupt rise in temperature during mid-February and untimely rain in the pulse growing states as well as rumours of poor crops in major pulse exporting countries has led to escalation of pulse prices in the country during the past two months.

india Updated: May 25, 2006 00:21 IST

APPREHENSION OF low production of rabi pulses due to abrupt rise in temperature during mid-February and untimely rain in the pulse growing states as well as rumours of poor crops in major pulse exporting countries has led to escalation of pulse prices in the country during the past two months.

Director of the Indian Institute of Pulse Research (IIPR), Dr Masood Ali told Hindustan Times that the pulse production was badly hit due to inclement weather conditions in the pulse growing states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat which led the traders to apprehend low production of rabi crop this year. He said urad seemed to have been worst hit with the price soaring up by fifty percent in less than two months. Prices of other pulses including chick pea, field pea and lentils were also up by about 15 to 20 per cent, he added.

Dr Masood said that the prices of urad and chickpea were still going upwards inspite of the arrival of new harvest and imports. He said it appeared that the pulses played in the hands of importers and traders who normally cornered the produce, dictated the price in the local market and jacked up the prices of the future contracts.”This is happening when the second advance estimates forecast total pulse production in the country at 14.4 million tonnes, a 7.6 percent rise from last year” he added. He said that the recent surge in pulse prices warranted a strong mechanism for regulating market forces so that unusual rice rise could be monitored and appropriate market interventions were made by the government through reasonable buffer stocks and public distribution system.

At the same time, market intelligence network based on internal as well as external database for providing authentic and reliable information on the arrival of fresh harvest and probable price should be strengthened, Dr Masood said.

First Published: May 25, 2006 00:21 IST