The Centre on Wednesday directed states to impose stock limits on pulses and conduct anti-hoarding drives to check prices and ensure their availability during the festive season, PTI reported. Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha also asked the Department of Consumer Affairs to use the country's postal network to distribute chana dal and other essential pulses.

Sinha told the department to "consider all options to check the prices of chana dal and sugar". The secretary further noted that measures taken by the Narendra Modi-led government had helped to contain the prices of most pulses, except chana dal as well as sugar.

The decisions were made at a meeting held by Sinha with the secretaries of various ministries, including those of consumer affairs and commerce. Chana dal and sugar are currently being sold at Rs 110 and Rs 40 per kg. The central government has been tackling a price rise in pulses, with the rate for some touching nearly Rs 200 per kg in June because of drought in several parts of the country. Steps such as an increase in imports as well as a hike in the Minimum Support Price were taken to check the rise in prices.

A spike in the cost of food items like vegetables and fruits caused inflation based on the Wholesale Price Index to increase to 3.35% in July from 1.62% in June. The government had also amended the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, to allow it to fix the retail prices of essential commodities.