GUWAHATI, April 22 - Owing to the drought-like scenario in Maharashtra and poor crop output in various other States, including Rajasthan and Haryana, the price of pulses, the most common source of protein for the common man, is once again on a steep rise.
This has now automatically affected the volume of procurement of pulses in Assam, thereby expanding the demand and supply gap. Wary of the price rise, the Centre too has sent a letter to the State government asking the latter to take steps in checking hoardings of items (pulses) in all forms and also place before it the requirement of pulses.
The Guwahati-based wholesale traders have confirmed the shortfall in arrival (volume) of pulses and opined that procurement of pulses from Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Haryana had been cut down owing to the sudden hike in prices.
The latest report of the Food and Civil Supplies Department, too, has recorded rise in pulse prices across different markets, which it attributed to falling supply. A comparative study of the volume of arrival (as per the Assam State Agricultural Marketing Board) in the State also reflects a drop.
Compared to February this year when 71,691.59 quintals of pulses arrived in the State (through Srirampur, Boxirhaat and Guwahati BG Yard), the arrival dipped to 65,000 quintals (approx) in March.
�While the arahar daal has recorded the highest rise of Rs 15 to 20 per kilogram, the other varieties of pulses, including masur, moong and gram, witnessed rise in prices between Rs 5 to Rs 10 in retail market,� a senior Food and Civil Supply officer told this reporter.
Guwahati-based wholesale trader Sundarlal Jain said the wholesale price of all varieties of pulses has gone up in the last few weeks by Rs 5 to Rs 7 on an average and the retailers too are reluctant to procure the items fearing drop in sale.
Jain, however, said it is more about crop shortage in the source states than the ongoing drought-like situation as a large chunk of pulse is brought from these states via Delhi. �We have also started procuring less than actual demand,� he added.
RC Sarma, another wholesale trader, said the virtual drop in the import volume too has affected the price. �The prices are fluctuating and once the import is less, prices will obviously go up.�