Mumbai: After onion, prices of tur dal have soared here in the last few weeks.
"The Tur dal price in the wholesale market was around Rs 75 per kg in the morning, and in the retail market, the price would go up to Rs 85 per kg," Ajay Shah, a trader at Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) in neighbouring Vashi said.
The dal was selling at Rs 50 per kg in the wholesale market last month, he said.
Initially, the prices went up because of the crop failure due to the cold wave as tur plant cannot endure temperatures below 15 degree celsius. But later, speculation caused the prices to rise further, Shah said.
"Also the supermarkets are buying up huge quantities of food items for offering discounts to customers on public holidays such as the Republic Day. This is having an adverse impact on the prices for ordinary consumers," Shah said.
Market expert Ramesh Padhye said, "Speculation is the main reason for sudden rise in the prices. Crop may have failed to some extent, but there is no reason why the prices should almost double."
Tur is a major source of protein for Indians and the price rise is forcing people to eat other pulses, which are also getting expensive, he said.
Unfortunately, the Centre and the state governments are silent over the rise in prices and have no policy to control it, or to stop the speculation, Padhye said.