At a time when prices of pulses are shooting up across the country, the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs department in Kalaburagi district in Karnataka has seized over 73,000 quintals of pulses, from warehouses and dal mills.
Speaking to The News Minute, Vijayanand B, assistant director at Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs said, “Over 400 hoarders, including farmers, dal mill owners and traders, were caught for stocking up pulses valued at more than Rs 56 crore in the surprise raids conducted from October 23, 24 and 25.”
“People have been worried over skyrocketing of prices. Initially the prices increase because of drought in the state, but it shot up only after people started hoarding. We go to places in groups of five including officials and conduct surprise raids. On October 22, we had seized about 20000 quintals. These people stock up and sell the dals when the prices go up,"he said.
According to an ET report on October 23, over 59,670 quintals of pulses were seized in Karnataka making it second only to Maharashtra, where the highest quantity of 3 lakh quintals was reportedly seized.
Considering the latest numbers from raids conducted on Saturday and Sunday, the highest quantity of pulses seized in the state is from Kalaburagi district in the state, but only the final report will confirm, said Vijayanand.
“We started raiding after states were asked to do surprise inspections and raids to prevent hoarding of pulses. No pulses were left behind. We found that the hoarding started at the ground level, starting from the farmers. After this prices of pulses should gradually drop,” he said.
In a meeting on October 22, the government had reviewed the imposition of stock limits and the enforcement measures taken by states to check hoarding.
During the meeting, an amendment was made under essential commodities act so that states can impose stock limits on pulses sourced from imports, stocked by exporters, large food processing units as well as large departmental retailers.
Vijayanand said that a notice has been sent out to managers of state and private run warehouses. “Necessary action will be taken by Zilla officials once we prepare the report,” he added.