Where's the 100-rupee toor daal, Mr Minister?
mid-day reporters fan out across Mumbai to check if Food and Civil Supplies Minister's promise of bringing down the price of the kitchen staple holds true. Turns out, it doesn't
The BJP and Shiv Sena had boldly announced that toor daal prices would fall to Rs 100 per kg from Thursday, but this seems to have had little impact on actual market rates, as mid-day discovered yesterday.
On Wednesday, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had ordered the ministry of food and civil supplies (headed by Girish Bapat) to release the stock of toor daal seized from hoarders so that prices would level out.
Following this, Bapat and the state BJP chief, Raosaheb Danve Patil held a press conference the same night to announce the move to reduce daal prices.
“We have decided that daal stored in godowns should be released immediately,” Bapat had said, with Danve assuring this would bring down prices to Rs 100.
On the same day, the Sena had announced on the front page of its mouthpiece, Saamna, that toor daal would be available for Rs 120. After the BJP’s announcement, the Sena on Thursday announced that prices would drop further to Rs 100, and then jumped to take credit for this.
Despite the chest-thumping, however, when mid-day conducted a survey across the city, prices were still sky-high. While some stores kept only one variety, others offered several variants at different rates, but nowhere was daal available for Rs 100.
The lowest price our reporters could find was Rs 190 per kg — nearly double the promised rate — while the highest was a whopping Rs 240 per kg.
Location: Shivaji Park, Dadar
Shop: Rambhia cash-and-carry supermarket
Reporter: Tanvi Deshpande
Price per kg: Rs 190
When our correspondent visited this grocery store near Shivaji Park, daal was available for not less than Rs 190 per kg. The shopkeeper added that he had started selling it in 250-gram packets, as many people could not afford to buy more than that.
Location: Pali Hill, Bandra (west)
Shop: Patel provision store
Reporter: Ranjeet Jadhav
Price per kg: Rs 220
mid-day visited Patel provision store to check if the toor daal rates had reduced, the salesman said there was just one variant being sold at Rs 220 per kg.
Location: Malabar Hill
Shop: Manilal dry fruits and general stores
Reporter: Sadaguru Pandit
Price per kg: Rs 240
When this reporter visited the grocery store, the prices of toor daal were much higher compared to other areas. Manilal dry fruits and general stores, located near the Western India Automobile Association (WIAA) Club, better known as Malabar Hill Club, charged Rs 240 for a kg of daal. No cheaper variant was available.
Location: R-City Mall, Ghatkopar
Shop: Big Bazaar outlet
Reporter: Ankoor Anvekar
Price per kg: Rs 194 and Rs 205
This correspondent purchased 1 kg of toor daal from a Big bazaar outlet at R-City mall in Ghatkopar, where there were two varieties available: one at Rs 194 per kg and other at Rs 205 per kg.
Location: Juhu-Vile Parle Development Scheme (JVPD)
Shop: Shivraj supermarket
Reporter: Neha LM Tripathi
Price per kg: Rs 190–215
When this reporter went to purchase 1 kg of toor daal from Shivraj Supermarket, at Juhu Vile Parle Development (JVPD) Scheme, daal was available at three rates — the lowest quality at Rs 190, a slightly better variant for Rs 200 and the best quality at Rs 215.
Price will fall gradually
State BJP president Raosaheb Danve Patil, who had announced the price drop on Wednesday, told mid-day on Friday, “We never claimed to make toor daal available at Rs 100 per kg by Thursday.
We had said that we would release the seized daal. Some stock has already reached the market and gradually, the remaining portion will also be released. Only after the released stock reaches the market will the prices fall. It will take some time.”
Little relief online
Even online grocery suppliers like Big Basket did not offer prices lower than Rs 154 for toor daal. There were also other variants on offer for as much as Rs 204 per kg on Friday.