Pulses move Maha govt

Cabinet gives nod to draft for regulating prices of pulses

Mumbai : The State Cabinet approved draft of Maharashtra Pulses Price Regulatory Act at its meeting here on Tuesday.

“The act would make traders to sell pulses at government approved prices for specific period of six months and would provide for jail term ranging from three months to one year and fine or both to traders, stockists, importers, middlemen, cooperative consumer societies who try to sell pulses at prices higher than the approved prices,” minister for consumer affairs, Girish Bapat has said.

The prices of pulses shall be regulated under provisions of Maharashtra Essential Commodities Act, the minister said and added that the prices of pulses decided by the government shall vary in a very narrow range depending upon local conditions pertaining to factors like transportation, labour etc.

The proposed law makes it mandatory for traders to give receipt of the pulses sold. Besides this the traders and producers will have to print price on the packed pulses, the minister said.

Any company, cooperative consumers society or any organisation if found guilty of violating the legislation, its manager, secretary, middlemen, officer or any other person who have links with managements of such companies or organisations would be taken action against as per the CRPC provisions, the minister said and added that police officials not below the rank of police sub-inspector or any officer from the Food and Civil Supplies department or rationing inspector from revenue department shall have the power to undertake inspection.

“The draft would be sent to President of India in a couple of days for approval. We shall try our level best to get the presidential nod at the earliest and then an ordinance would be promulgated and the bill would be brought in during the monsoon session of the State Legislature,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, the state cabinet also approved decision to include additional sections to IPC to increase provision of punishments for crimes like chain snatching. According to the decision, chain snatching will now have a punishment of rigorous imprisonment ranging between three to five years and fine of Rs 25,000 in cases of grievous injury and imprisonment of two to five years in cases of other chain snatching incidences.

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