Centre asks states to remove local taxes on essential commodities, making them cheaper. In Picture: Pulses kept on display for sale in a shop in Ahmedabad, India [Representational Image]Reuters

Maharashtra and Karnataka accounted for almost 86% of pulses seized in raids conducted on hoarders of pulses to reduce prices and bring down food inflation in India.

While 5,250 raids conducted in Maharashtra resulted in seizure of 87,167.44 metric tonnes of pulses seized, the quantity was 25,545.83 metric tonnes in 1,351 raids by Karnataka.

In all, 14,726 raids were conducted on hoarders across the country, in which the state governments seized 1,31,029.55 metric tonnes of pulses till  31 December, 2015, the ministry of consumer affairs, food & public distribution said in a statement on 1 January, 2016. 

The data was based on reports provided by state governments, the statement added.

The raids commenced around September-October this year.

Prices of pulses went up by almost 42% in October this year, the sharpest increase in a decade, prompting state governments to crack the whip on hoarders. 

The retail prices of urad dal almost doubled in about 12 months, from about Rs 100 per kg a year ago in October 2014 to about Rs 190 per kg in October 2015.

Out of the quantity seized, 1,12,545 metric tonnes have been released by the governments. 

In all, raids were conducted in 14 states, including Telangana, Haryana, Punjab, Bihar, NCT Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.