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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Center requests D-Mart, Big Basket, ITC Foods, Amazon, Flipkart to disclose pulse stocks to prevent hoarding

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In Short:

The government has asked big retail chains to disclose their stocks twice a week to prevent hoarding and stabilize prices. Food inflation remains high, with overall inflation at 4.75% and pulse-specific inflation at 17.1%. The government is urging the industry to cooperate and not make a profit during this time. Plans are in place to achieve self-sufficiency in pulses by 2027.


Government Orders Stock Disclosure from Big Retail Chains

The government is cracking down on undisclosed stocks of pulses in big retail chains. They have now mandated disclosure of stocks twice a week for these chains, with officials verifying stocks at ports and industry hubs across the country.

Government Concerns

The Department of Consumer Affairs noticed that big retail chains were not following the mandate to disclose their stocks. The revamped stock disclosure portal now includes yellow peas and identifies big chain retailers as an entity that must declare their stocks, effective from 15 April. This move aims to prevent any price escalation due to undisclosed stocks.

Price Increase on Essential Pulses

To give you an idea, the all-India average retail prices of chana dal, tur, urad, masur, and moong have seen significant year-on-year increases. These price hikes have prompted the consumer affairs department to take action and ensure responsible behavior from all entities involved in the supply chain.

High Food Inflation Stats

Despite a slight drop in headline inflation in May, food inflation remains high. Inflation in pulses specifically has increased, causing concern for consumers. These price hikes are affecting everyone, including major online retailers like Flipkart and Amazon.

As food prices continue to rise, there is growing concern about hoarding by the pulses trade. The government is keeping a close eye on this issue and has planned crackdowns to stabilize prices and increase supply.

Government Initiatives to Ensure Self-Sufficiency

The government is drafting schemes to achieve self-sufficiency in pulses by 2027 to reduce the import bill. The aim is to promote domestic production and avoid reliance on imports, especially during uncertain weather conditions.

Public Reaction and Acknowledgement

Despite these measures, there are concerns about the small role of private retail in the pulses trade. However, experts like B.B. Singh see the inclusion of big retail chains in stock disclosures as a positive step towards curbing hoarding and ensuring pulses are available to consumers.

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