Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 15:
Almost two months after dal prices shot through the roof, Odisha government today wrote a letter to the Union government asking them to arrange for additional supply of pulses through MMTC (Metal and Mineral Trading Corporation).
“The state government has written to the Center urging it to facilitate additional supply of pulses through MMTC. We have also requested them to set the prices of dal and reveal it to the market after considering the imported supplies held up at ports,” said state Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Sanjay Dasburma.
“We are dependent on other states for dal. The prices have skyrocketed in the state as the production of pulses in the country has come down by 25 percent due to scanty rainfall this year. We expect the prices to come down after new crops hit the market around November 15,” he added explaining the acute shortage of the kitchen essential leading to steep price rise.
Besides, the minister has also asked the district collectors to review lentil prices at regular intervals and keep a tab on hoarding and black-marketing.
Notably, the prices of different varieties of dal have gone up by Rs 20-30 a kilogram in past couple of weeks in the state. Prices of arhar dal crossed Rs 200 a kilogram in many places of the state yesterday.
Even though the government on September 12 announced that it had imported 2500 metric tonne of pulses through NAFED to stabilize the price in the state, it had clearly not been enough to rein in the price rise. Earlier, the government also tried to use Rs 50 crore from the Union Price Stabilizing Fund to control the prices of onions, potatoes and lentils in the state. However, in the absence of proper vigilance on black-marketing and stock hoarding, all experiments of the government have so far failed.