A meeting to discuss measures to ensure availability of essential commodities at reasonable prices, especially of pulses, was held today under the chairmanship of Union Consumer Affairs Secretary – Shri Hem Pande. The meeting was attended by Principal Secretaries, Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs of States and other senior officials. The meeting reviewed availability of pulses and sugar and stock limits imposed by States thereon, bringing down price difference between wholesale and retail, lifting of pulses from Central Buffer Stock and strict enforcement of Packaged Commodities Rules.
In the meeting, States informed that the prices of pulses have started registering downward trends in recent weeks and expected to decline further. States said that stock limits on essential commodities have been imposed and in view of coming festival season, strict monitoring will be done to check hoarding of essential commodities. They were mentioned that huge margin between wholesale and retail price, which varies from 7% to 32% at various places is a cause of concern. In this regard, states agreed to hold periodical meetings with wholesalers and retailers to rationalize this margin.
States were also asked to strengthen Information Mechanism to monitor prices of essential commodities and its daily reporting from various markets to the Centre. They were also requested to increase number of such reporting centres so that price reporting mechanism may be made more broad-based.
States expressed their willingness to seek more allocation of pulses from Buffer Stock. So far, about 7000 MT have been lifted by the States. States were also requested to create a dedicated Police Department on the lines of Tamil Nadu to check offences under EC Act and to ensure display of stocks by wholesalers and importers and disposal of imported pulses within 45 days.
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