Stringent laws would be invoked against dal hoarders: Minister

Mumbai: The state government today said it will invoke the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers and Drug Offenders Act (MPDA) and Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against the traders found to be hoarding pulses, edible oils and oilseeds.

Maharashtra minister for food and civil supplies and consumer affairs Girish Bapat said that these two stringent laws would be invoked. The stocks of these food items at the malls too will be checked.

"After the prices of pulses began to shoot through the roof, food and civil supplies department inspectors have so far conducted 270 raids at godowns and shops, he said.

"Maximum of these raids -- 150 -- were conducted in Pune district. Dal mills are also under the scanner," he said. The stocks beyond the permissible limit will be seized and auctioned, he said.

The state government had also set up a price monitoring cell for essential commodities, he said."The erratic monsoon has resulted in shrinking of area under pulses cultivation. Production in Myanmar and some
African countries hasn't been that high. The Centre is importing 5,000 quintals of Tur dal to bring the prices down," the minister said.

To a question about bio-metric ration cards, Bapat said e-tender for the project will be issued in a week's time and it will be implemented over the next five years. "So far 3.06 crore people in the state have had their
Aadhar card linked to the PDS," he said.

Pilot project of linking Aadhar card with PDS in Sangli district resulted in saving of 1,000 quintals of foodgrains, he said.

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