The Indian government has made it mandatory for traders, millers, and importers of lentils (masur) to disclose their stockholding information. This move aims to prevent market manipulation and control the rise in lentil prices, especially with festivals approaching.

Government Mandates Stockholding Disclosure of Masoor daal to avoid market manipulationTo ensure an adequate supply of various pulses at reasonable prices during the festive season, the government is closely monitoring the situation and is prepared to take strict measures to release stock into the market, according to Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh. This directive was issued during a weekly review meeting chaired by Singh.

As of Wednesday, the average retail price of masur stood at Rs 93.2 per kilogram, slightly lower than the Rs 98.12 per kg price from the previous year. However, other pulse prices are facing pressure, as per official data.

The ministry has instructed all stakeholders to disclose their masur stock on a portal every Friday. Failure to disclose stock will be considered hoarding, and action will be taken under the Essential Commodities Act. This move comes as some players attempt to manipulate the market, especially with increased lentil imports from Canada and rising tur imports from African countries.

The secretary emphasized the importance of balancing the interests of farmers and consumers. The government is committed to taking stern action against any unscrupulous attempts to harm the interests of consumers and farmers. This decision also follows the suspension of tenders by NAFED and NCCF for the purchase of imported lentils due to excessively high bids from a few suppliers, hinting at cartelization.

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