The Fadnavis government had received flak from opposition parties for failing to check the rising prices of tur dal. The state government had promised to bring down price of lentils but no results are visible on ground. Wholesale rates of tur dal have fallen to Rs. 95 per kg but retailers are selling the commodity at Rs. 160 to Rs. 180 per kg. Thus the government has failed to take action against hoarders and black marketers hence there has been a surge in rates of lentils. The common man who is grappling with rising inflation won’t get any respite as he has to shell out more money for buying an essential commodity like tur dal.
Mohan a wholesale merchant from Gajra traders said, “We are selling tur dal at Rs. 95 per kg but it is available at Rs. 160 in retail market. Retailers have not reduced the prices of tur dal and instead they are increasing the margin of profits earned by them by quoting inflated rates.”
A trader from Karam Corporation on the condition of anonymity said, “The wholesale rate of tur dal is Rs. 88 per kg. Even if retailers hike the retail prices by Rs. 25 then the commodity should be available at Rs. 113 for the customers. However, they have become greedy and are selling tur dal at Rs. 160 and earning a margin of Rs. 72 per kg which is unjustified.”
Amar Seth, a BPO employee from Kandivali said, “When I heard that tur dal will be available at Rs 95 per kg I was very pleased. However, after visiting the shop I learnt that pulses prices are yet to fall. Why doesn’t the government take action against hoarders and black marketers?”
Rahul Deshmukh, a Borivali resident said, “The government only gives false assurance to people that pulses prices will dip but it doesn’t happen. There is lack of proper mechanism to arrest the price rise.”
“The government acts only when prices of essential commodities skyrocket. It is like a policing job. The cops arrive only after a crime happens. The best practice is not to give the hoarders any chance,” said a trader from Vipul enterprises.
On the other hand, public distribution shops are charging Rs 8 more from customers as compared to retail outlets. To stabilise the price, the state government has sought a stock of 28,000 metric tonnes of tur dal from the Central government. Of the required stock, the state has received 700 metric tonnes while the next stock of 1,100 metric tonnes will come in September, sources said.
Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane criticised the state government for its inability to check rising prices of tur dal.
Criticising the government for selling tur dal at Rs 120 per kg at fair price (ration) shops, Rane said the government was only interested in ensuring the welfare of grocery shops in malls. “This is a mallwallahs’ government. There is no direction in the functioning of this government.”
Deepak Kapoor, Principal Secretary, Food and Civil Supplies Department, Government of Maharashtra, said, “Instructions had been issued to district collectorates and the District Supply Officers (DSOs) to remain vigilant and check hoarding of pulses.”