India imposed stock limits on pigeon peas and chickpeas on Friday to cool prices and prevent hoarding, the government said in a statement.

The government action comes against the backdrop of elevated food prices in India, which have been impacted by reduced supplies of foods like pulses, vegetables, and cereals due to factors including a drought last year and an ongoing heat wave.

The limits apply to stocks of the pulses held by traders and businesses and are meant to improve availability in the market.

Stock limits for pigeon peas and chickpeas will be 200 metric tons for wholesalers, five metric tones for retailers and 200 metric tons at big chain retail depots, the statement said.

For millers, the limit will be last 3 months of production or 25% of annual installed capacity, whichever is higher, the statement added.

"Imposition of stock a part of slew of measures taken by the government to crackdown on prices of essential commodities," the statement said.

Importers of the pulses have been directed to not hold stocks beyond 45 days from customs clearance, the statement added.

(Reporting by Shivam Patel. Editing by Jane Merriman)