Dal crisis

Some years ago, we had onion crisis in the country. The price of onions suddenly shot up many times and the Government had to import onions to bring down the rate. This time we have similar crisis of pulses. All of a sudden price of pulses of all kinds shot up. The Government quickly moved into action and ordered import of 5000 tons of pulses from abroad. However, as was the experience during onion crisis, it is repeated this time in the case of pulses. Among other measures to bridge over the crisis, the Union Government advised the State Governments to check hording. The Union Government conducted over 300 raids in 2-3 days and seized about 36000 tons of pulses in Maharashtra and other places. This quantity was immediately diverted to public distribution system. At the same time Government ordered import of 5,000 tons of pulses which has already arrived and 3000 tons more are on way. The seized quantity and the imported quantity have been piped to the public distribution system which has marginally controlled and brought down the prices.
Hoarding and profiteering are as bad as a sin. Recovering 36 thousand tons of hoarded pulses is not a small quantity. As this is the second experience during one decade and half, the Government shall have to devise a methodology that would put a curb on hoarding. This is a malaise that must be dealt with once for all. Unless exemplary punishment is delivered to anti-social elements no satisfactory solution can be found. It is the duty of District Commissioners to ensure that no hoarding takes place within their respective jurisdiction. Pulses are an essential commodity for the Indians as it is the food of the rich and the poor.

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