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Sebi lifts ban on chana futures, NCDEX to launch contracts

LiveMint logoLiveMint 12-07-2017 PTI

New Delhi: Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has lifted ban on futures trading in chana (gram) to ensure better price realisation for farmers as the country has achieved record production in the 2016-17 crop year, an official said.

Leading agri-commodity exchange NCDEX will relaunch the chana futures contract from Friday, a top official of the commodity bourse said. Sebi in June last year had suspended introduction of any new contracts in chana to curb speculation and check prices.

However, pulses prices have declined in the domestic market in view of record production at over 22 million tonnes in 2016-17 crop year (July-June), making a case for lifting of ban on chana futures. “The ban has been lifted on chana futures,” said a senior government official who did not wish to be identified. The NCDEX has been allowed to restart fresh chana contracts for futures trading, the official said.

The decision was taken after a recent PMO meeting held to assess prices of farm commodities, supply and demand situation against the backdrop of bumper crop in 2016-17 crop year. Confirming the development, NCDEX managing director and CEO Samir Shah told PTI, “Sebi has given permission to restart chana futures. We will do it from this Friday.” The exchange will offer November contracts for trading, Shah said.

The exchange has sought permission for tur (arhar) contract also. “We are following with the Sebi on this,” Shah said. The agriculture ministry was in favour of allowing futures trade in chana to ensure better prices to farmers for the rabi (winter) pulse crop.

The ministry was of the view that re-launch of chana futures would help farmers know the likely future price of the commodity and hedge their produce against price risk.

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