Slamming the Devendra Fadnavis government’s claims of providing tur dal at Rs 100 per kg to people across the state, Deshmukh said, “In the festive season, common man is being forced to pay Rs 180 to Rs 200 per kilo as the government has totally failed to manage the situation.”
He alleged that there was no mechanism in the state currently to control prices of food items.
Also, stock limits were imposed very late and the government committed a blunder of taking such action on imported dal, which is exempt from stock limit as it has to be imported in bulk, he said.
As a result, the shipments of pulses were not off-loaded by importers fearing action. This also restricted supplies, creating shortage and further firming up of prices, Deshmukh told reporters here last evening.
Recalling his experience, the former minister said, “During the previous government, we set up a ‘price monitoring cell’ that kept a strict tab on market rates of food items. That was the reason we were able to take timely action when dal prices shot up once, and immediately took timely corrective measures like imposing stock limits on dealers.”
He said no such cell has been set up the BJP-led government till now.
The Congress-NCP government supplied tur dal through public distribution system of ration shops at Rs 55, he said.
He claimed that around 10-12 ships with imported dal were stranded for 15 days.
“Only after our party raised the issue, the government hurriedly withdrew its orders and removed restrictions on imported stock,” explained Deshmukh.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar raised his concern on October 30 and the state government initiated measures on November 3, he said.
Instead of diverting the seized dal’s sale through PDS, the government returned the stocks to traders and asked them to sell at Rs 100. “Such a move was impractical,” said the NCP’s Nagpur city unit president.