The next time you find refined edible oil at unbelievable prices,take a closer look at the tin. Chances are that the packet or tin,which you pick up as cotton seed or groundnut oil,may actually be nothing but cheap palmoline.
The market is flooded with tins of palmoline,which are sold under the name of refined edible oil, and are priced at par with the other two better varieties of edible oil.
While a tin of 15 kg palmoline should,according to prevailing market rates,be available between Rs 550 and 600,the refined edible oil,or palmoline,is priced over Rs 700,at par with cotton seed oil.
Groundnut oil,at present,is available at Rs 1,050 for 15 kg. While cotton seed and groundnut oil are local varieties,Palmoline,the cheapest of the three,is 100 per cent imported.
The irony here is that a customer,who is happy to have bought the refined oil at a lesser price,is actually paying more for an inferior quality.
There are so many brands which now sell palmoline as refined edible oil. It is available at most of the retail grocery outlets, said a distributor on condition of anonymity.
Although the most important term,Palmoline Oil, is printed at the bottom of the tin,the letters are so small that they almost go unnoticed.
While customers,in general,are ignorant about this,the matter has been taken up by local oil millers,who are also at the receiving end.
The Saurashtra Oil Millers Association (SOMA),which has over 800 oil mills across Saurashtra region on its member list,said that it will discuss the matter at its next executive meeting to be held on January 24. The main concern of the oil millers is that the imported oil is taking away their market share.
It is a loss to both customers as well as oil millers. We are taking a serious note of the issue,said Sameer Shah,secretary,SOMA.
In order to prove their point,the association has purchased some tins from the market. We will decide as to what action needs to be taken in our executive committee meeting on the coming Saturday,said Shah.