New Delhi/Indore: Indore, the benchmark market for pulses, is shut on Friday as traders are protesting against the government's decision to impose stock limit on most pulses, said NK Agarwal, an Indore-based trader.
Other major markets for pulses in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan are also closed as the traders have called for a one-day shutdown, said traders.
The decision to call the shutdown was taken jointly by the Federation of Association of Traders Maharashtra and the Chamber of Associations of Maharashtra Industry and Trade. On July 2, the central government imposed stock limit on most pulses, barring moong, for wholesalers, retailers, millers and importers effective from July 16 till Oct 31.
"Demand has been hit badly in the last two weeks because of stock limit imposed on pulse, due to which prices have fallen sharply," said Chairman of All India Dal Mill Association, Suresh Agarwal. The government imposed a 200-ton stock limit for wholesalers in case there is not more than 100 ton of one variety of pulse and 5 tons for retailers.
For millers, the stock limit will be the quantity in the last three months of production or 25% of annual installed capacity, whichever is higher. "Stock limit should be lifted completely or it should be increased to 1,000 tons," said Suresh Agarwal.
"The government imposed the limit at a time when the market is already going into thin trade due to the pandemic. Traders' business has already taken a hit due to weak demand and stock limit will cause them huge losses," he said.
"Stock limit is not only affecting the traders and millers, but it is also a loss for farmers too as bulk buyers are unwilling to purchase in the current situation," said Aniket Mehta, a Kota-based trader.
Chana prices fell by Rs 200 – Rs 300 since the government imposed stock limit. On Thursday, chana was sold at Rs 4,800 – Rs 4,900 rupees per 100 kg in Indore, down by Rs 100 from Wednesday, said traders.