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Income-tax authorities conduct raids on pulses brokers to check undue price rise
April, 22nd 2016

The Modi government is cracking the whip on pulses traders as the common man bleeds from high prices of urad, tur and chana dals. Income-tax (I-T) authorities have reportedly conducted raids on unnamed pulses brokers across Delhi, Mumbai and Madhya Pradesh on Thursday for allegedly jacking up prices and unduly profiteering from the same.

However, Ashim Kumar Modi, additional DIT (HQ), Income Tax, Mumbai, was not available to confirm the raids or the reasons till the time of going to press. A trader in Jalgaon and a broker in Delhi confirmed raids having taking place. They said the cause was to "curb" rising prices of pulses, production of which has been hampered by two successive years of drought.

ET in its edition on April 18 highlighted the impact of two failed monsoons on pulses and how the futures market was signalling increase in the prices of chana in the months ahead. In its edition on April 21, the paper ran a story on the government proposing to ask states to impose stock limits on chana and sugar to curb rising prices caused by hoarding.

According to the government's second advanced estimate for 2015-16, total pulses production has fallen short of the 20.05 million tonne target by 16%. The price of a kilogramme of gram dal in Mumbai was up by 5.5% at Rs 78/kg since the beginning of the year.

In a separate development, NCDEX raised the margin to buy chana futures by 25% in cash to 45% to curb price volatility. The margin becomes effective from Friday. It advanced the imposition of the daily 1.5% pre-expiry margin to the 27th of every month of the front month contract from the last 11days.

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