Highlighting the growing burden of inflation on consumers, including food price inflation, the Indian Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA) – the hub for the pulse trade and industry and cereals in India – sought immediate action to curb soaring prices for pulses and grains in the retail market.
Retail prices are traditionally higher than wholesale prices. However, whenever a price spike is reported, wholesalers end up bearing the brunt of the inflation while retailers, whether online or offline, organized or not, are rarely in the spotlight. .
While there could be various reasons for the difference, the government or the Department of Consumer Affairs needs to take a closer look at the same. Currently, there are no regulations on the retail prices of pulses, causing prices to skyrocket indiscriminately, leaving the end consumer to pay exorbitant prices for pulses and grains – which are necessities in any Indian household.
The IPGA firmly believes that the need at the moment is to regulate the retail prices of pulses and grains, on an urgent basis, so that consumers reeling from high inflation can get some relief.
The IPGA from time to time monitors the retail, wholesale and ex-factory prices of pulses and grains. The IPGA, in June 2021, conducted a study of the prices of pulses on the shelves of organized and unorganized retail stores in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, where teams physically purchased pulses from outlets. by retail. The investigation showed that the price difference between wholesale and retail prices is quite large.
The IPGA thinks the government is targeting the wrong sector. They focus on traders when they really need to do a thorough examination and tracking of the gap between wholesale and retail prices.
They also need to see at what price NAFED is selling its shares. Even the RBI annual report pointed out the big difference between wholesale and retail and yet the government is taking action at the wholesale level or at the trader level or at the stockist level as the gathering takes place at the retail level where the government does not take any action.
The IPGA strongly recommended that the government or the Department of Consumer Affairs design a process by which prices are suitably adjusted to be in line with wholesale prices. There has to be a mechanism, checks and balances that the government has to design, through in-depth and in-depth research.
They need to understand that it is the retail sector that is driving the price of pulses. It is not the milling, importing or wholesaling sector.
The IPGA also takes this opportunity to ask media houses to refrain from writing contradictory articles. News houses should check prices at various outlets, namely mandis, mills, wholesale markets, online sales and retail stores before reporting them or blaming traders for the high prices.
They should also check the farmer’s market website to see where the prices of mandi are being traded before blaming the traders because prices are high at the retail level and not at the level where one is trading. supplies from the farmer.
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