Maharashtra govt lifts storage limit on imported pulses

Mumbai: Maharashtra government has decided to lift the storage limit it had imposed on imported pulses, cooking oil and oilseeds to keep a check on the spiralling prices of foodgrains, state Food and Civil Supplies minister Girish Bapat said here today.

"We had imposed restrictions as the government wanted to ensure there is no black marketing of pulses at a time when prices were already high. Our decision of lifting the restrictions will ensure that all the foodgrains that are lying idle at ports can be sold in the open market," Bapat told reporters.

"Restrictions on storage of pulses had been imposed by the state government on October 19 following directions of the Centre. These restrictions included imported foodgrains as well. These restrictions meant that grains were lying idle," he said.

Bapat further said that he held discussions with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis based on the recommendation of the Centre to lift restrictions and the decision was subsequently taken.

"Orders have already been issued. Thus, dal and pulses weighing around 5.5 tons that is lying at Mumbai Port Trust and JNPT will now be sold in the open market and prices will come down further," he said.

Since 1977, there has been no limit set on stocking of pulses. On October 20 this year, following orders from the Centre to crack down on hoarders, the state government launched raids from October 21 and over 5,250 raids were conducted across the state.

Meanwhile, the 116 lakh metric tonnes of pulses seized during the raids across the state are unlikely to reach the market soon due to some bureaucratic issues.

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