Udayavni Special

AFTA writes to PM against govt collecting pulses stock details under EC Act


PTI, May 28, 2021, 4:09 PM IST

New Delhi: Trade association AFTA on Friday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi against the government’s move to collect stock details of pulses held by traders, millers and importers under the Essential Commodities (EC) Act saying it encourages Inspector Raj.

To contain rising prices of pulses, the Centre had on May 18 asked state governments to take action against hoarding of pulses by directing all importers, traders, millers and stockholders to disclose the quantum of stock they hold.

Stating that any action taken under the EC Act will create “panic” in the industry, Delhi-based Agri Farmers and Trades Association (AFTA) said, “It will hinder the ease of doing business and encourage Inspector Raj, conflicting the need of freedom to trade in these difficult times.”

The government should adopt other tools such as reducing import duty on pulses because an action under the EC law does not seem to serve the needs of the country as prices of other pulses are below minimum support price (MSP), it said in a letter to the PM.

“We request you to please look into the matter as well as rethink to verify the stock under the EC Act to avoid any other disruption in the market,” AFTA General Secretary Sunil Kumar Baldeva said in the letter.

The market price of pulses has always been close to MSP set by the government. For instance, moong and chana prices are below MSP rates, while tur and urad rates are ruling 5-7 per cent higher than MSP, he added.

Further, the trade association said the mandis have not been able to function steadily due to the pandemic due to which farmers are “finding it difficult” to supply the commodity to mandis.

Farmers are not able to get their produce to sell to NAFED because of which the cooperative has been able to procure only 4 lakh tonne of chana now as against 21.8 lakh tonne purchased in the last year”s season, it added.

“Our farmers, millers, wholesalers and retailers that comprise the pulses industry had and are still enduring a tough time to maintain the supply,” AIFTA said. It is despite affected transportation, low number of labour, price fluctuations and mental and physical hazards, it added.

The letter was written after discussion with pulses traders and farmers from various states in a meeting held on May 22.

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