December 2, 2015
Saugata Roy speaks about skyrocketing prices of pulses
Sir, there has been a tremendous rise in the price of pulses over the last one year affecting millions of people for whom pulses are the major source of vegetable protein. The cost of arhar dal has crossed Rs 200/kg and is clearly beyond the capacity of common people to buy pulses at this price.
Sir, compared to one year ago, prices of ground dal, toor dal, urad dal, mung dal, masur dal have risen by 53%, 99%, 86%, 14.45% and 26.77% respectively. Compared to six months ago, they have risen by 21.16%, 61.87%, 51%, 6.16% and 15.38% respectively.
Sir, targeted production for pulses this year was 20.05 million tonnes. The actual production in 2014-15 was 17.2 million tonnes. There is a huge shortfall as demand has risen from 22.68 million metric tonnes to 23.62 million metric tonnes. Imports this year have not happened; it was only 1.9 million metric tonnes up to August.
It is obvious that some businessmen have hoarded pulses in a big way. There have been some raids throughout the country. The total quantity of pulses seized in these raids was only 1.33 lakh metric tonnes.
The government needs to immediately step up raids for dehoarding of hidden stocks of pulses to save the common man. They need to import pulses to alleviate the sufferings of the common man who are unable to consume dal. There have been allegations that some of these traders are getting protection from the ruling party.
I urge the government to immediately take measures and inquire why the prices of pulses are skyrocketing.