These days there is continuous increase in the price of pulses. All pulses are expensive including arhar, moong, urad, lentils, gram, peas, etc. From wholesale market of Dhanipur Mandi to retail to consumer’s homes, their rates are increased by 15 to 20 rupees per Kg. The main reason behind this is the government policies.
Increasing farmer’s income, free gram distribution, import duty of 200 percent on pea imports, frequent shortages in government agency NAFED’s godown, unnecessary purchases during a lockdown, and now floods have spiked their prices. Forward trading is also adding inflation in pulses. Currently, from Mahavirganj to any retail market, pulses are getting expensive every week.
The Government of India hikes the support price of pulses to achieve the goal of increasing the income of farmers by one and a half times. Government agencies have purchased pulses from farmers after increasing the support price. In contrast, last year the prices of gram were down due to which farmers and big traders of stock faced a loss. The government had purchased 19 lakh 50 thousand tons of pulses.
The previous stock was around 15 lakh tons. Now about 13 lakh tons of gram is estimated to be distributed under free gram distribution scheme, as this distribution has been extended from 31 August to 30 November 2020. Due to which Government’s stock is decreasing continuously.
Traders are already facing a shortage of stock and there is also less chance to get pulses from Government agency NAFED at a reasonable rate. Apart from this, heavy floods in different parts of the country also destroyed crops. Here, the lockdown imposed across the country from 25 March which was unlocked on 9 June. During this time stock gradually finished because of a limited supply of pulses. Also, people stored pulses out of fear, due to which the rate started to rise. Consumption increased further when dhabas, hotels, restaurants opened in Unlock. Forward trading also played a role in the price hike. The important thing is that the administration who is responsible to fix the rate of food items every week for price control is not giving attention now.
The price of peas are continuously rising because of 200 percent import duty on it. The domestic crop is almost over so the shortage rises meanwhile there is an import duty of 200 percent which makes peas expensive. Peas yields are better in many countries like Australia, but the import is not possible due to very high import duty.