Jamshedpur: State food supply minister Saryu Roy has appealed to the traders of Jharkhand to make chana daal (split Bengal gram) available to the people at the rate of Rs 125 per kilogram ahead of the Chhath festival. He said the traders should ensure that the people do not have to pay more than the said amount by setting up ‘suvidha kendras’ for the purpose.
Addressing retail and wholesale traders of pulses in the city during a meeting convened by Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Roy said, “The steep rise in the price of the split Bengal gram is a matter of concern as people are forced to pay much more than the usual rate.
In view of Chhath, we want to make sure that there is no unusually high difference of retail and wholesale rates of the pulse in the state. The situation has certainly changed due to entry of big industrial houses in the retail and wholesale business of pulses and other food-grains.”
Roy said the unusual rate of the split Bengal gram was caused firstly due to the fact that Jharkhand was not a producer of pulses and secondly because the state was unable to benefit from the import of pulses by the Central government.
“Certainly there is lack of resources in the state. This is why we could not benefit from the import of pulses by the Central government. But still the supply chain should be maintained in the state. The traders should maintain a steady supply of the pulse across Jharkhand by making marginal benefits in the larger interest of the people. I will take up the matter with the state government and draw its attention to the matter,” Roy said.
Roy, while interacting with the traders, sought their support in bringing down the current rate of the Bengal gram. He said the traders should assist the state government in reducing the sky-high price of the Bengal gram.
Also addressing the meeting, Chamber president Suresh Sonthalia said the split Bengal gram was available at the rate of Rs 130 to Rs 135 per kilogram in the retail shops.
He said the branded chana daal packets were available at the rate of Rs 150 per kilogram. He said a reduction up to Rs 15 per kilogram had been observed in the last two to three days. He said sufficient amount of the pulse was available in the city. He assured the minister about the continued support of small retailers to the state government.
Also present on the occasion, Nand Kishore Agrawal, vice president of the Chamber, said the prices of pulse varied as per the wishes of big corporate houses. He said the traders of Jharkhand had no role in the current inflationary trends in the pulse market.
Deepak Bhalotia, a representative of traders, claimed the Bazaar Samiti was doing business by keeping minimum profit. He said the traders were also discharging their social responsibility by maintaining the availability of pulses in the market.
Chamber general secretary Prabhakar Singh said that Jharkhand was merely a trading point when it came to pulses. He said the hike in prices of the split Bengal gram was linked to the producer states. He said the Chamber was with the Jharkhand government.