The government on Monday exempted importers of pulses from stock limits, and also relaxed the norms for millers and wholesalers, in view of softening of prices of the key pulses in the country.
Now, the stock limits will be applicable only on tur, urad, gram and masoor for a period up to October 31, it said.
However, these entities will continue to declare their stocks on the web portal of the Department of Consumer Affairs, it added.
A revised order in this regard has been notified.
"As part of efforts to control the prices of pulses and other essential commodities, the Narendra Modi government has given concessions to wholesalers, millers and importers in stock limits imposed on them," Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted.
In a separate statement, his ministry said the central government has relaxed stock limits for millers and wholesalers, and exempted importers from the same considering softening of the prices and feedback received from states and stakeholders.
"It has been decided that importers of pulses will be exempted from stock limits and shall continue to declare stocks of pulses on the portal (fcainfoweb.nic.in) of the Department of Consumer Affairs," according to the ministry.
For wholesalers, the stock limit will be 500 tonnes, provided that it should not be more than 200 tonnes of one variety. For millers, the limit will be the six months' production or 50 per cent of annual installed capacity, whichever is higher.
For retailers, the stock limit will remain unchanged same at five tonnes.
"This relaxation for millers will have a down-streaming effect in terms of giving an assurance to farmers at this critical juncture of kharif sowing of tur and urad," the statement said.
Importers, millers, retailers and wholesalers should continue to declare their stocks on the portal fcainfoweb.nic.
In case the stocks held by them are higher than the prescribed limits, they should bring it to the prescribed stock limits within 30 days of issue of this notification dated July 19.
The decision by the government was taken after a meeting with stakeholders on July 17.
All major associations have assured their full cooperation towards declaration of stocks on the web portal and in ensuring there is no hoarding and artificial scarcity, it added.
The move comes amid several representations from pulses associations against the government's earlier order with regard to stock limits on pulses.
Welcoming the decision, India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA) vice chairman Bimal Kothari said the association's continuous and sustained efforts have borne fruit.
"We are confident that this will smoothen the supply of pulses in the coming months and stabilise the prices of pulses during the forthcoming festive period," he said in a statement.
On June 2, the government had imposed stock limits on all pulses, except moong, held by wholesalers, retailers, importers and millers till October to prevent hoarding and check price rise.
The stock limit of 200 tonnes was imposed on importers and wholesalers, five tonnes on retailers, while in case of millers, the stock limit was of last three months of production or 25 per cent of annual installed capacity, whichever was higher.
Meanwhile, the government said it has been making continuous efforts to crackdown on prices of essential commodities like pulses and had taken various measures.
Wholesale prices of all the pulses (except masoor) have fallen by 3-4 per cent in the past two months, and retail prices over the same period for all the pulses (except masoor ) have fallen by 2-4 per cent, it said.
In a short span of two months, there were 8,343 registrations by entities and stocks worth over 30.01 lakh tonnes declared on the web portal.
The government also said it is committed to adopting timely measures for curbing prices and has substantially alleviated the concerns and anguish of the common man.
At the same time, the policy interventions are monitored closely to gauge the impact and calibrated as per emerging developments to safeguard the interests of all sections of society, it added.
Photograph: PTI Photo