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Centre imposes stock limit on edible oils, oilseeds till March to reduce prices

The government has formulated a "multi-pronged strategy" to ensure that the prices of essential commodities like edible oils remain controlled, the ministry of food and public distribution has said

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
October 10, 2021 1:42:35 pm
The ministry said the high prices of edible oil in the international market have a "substantial impact" on the domestic prices. (Express photo)

With cooking oil prices continuing to rise, the Centre has imposed a stock limit on edible oils and oilseeds till the end of March next year. In a statement Sunday, the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said: “The Department… in a landmark decision has imposed stock limits on Edible Oils and Oilseeds for a period upto 31st March, 2022.”

“The Centre’s decision will soften the prices of edible oils in the domestic market, thereby bringing great relief to consumers across the country,” it said.

The move comes at a time when edible oil prices are hovering at record levels. According to the latest data available with the ministry, the all-India daily average retail price of mustard oil reached Rs 184.15 per kg Friday, with at least 22 centres, including Mumbai and Lucknow, reporting Rs 200 and above. Mustard oil is the costliest of the six edible oils for which the ministry monitors retail and wholesale price data. Retail prices of the other edible oils are Rs 182.61 per kg for groundnut oil, Rs 136.59/kg (vanaspati), Rs 155/kg (soya), Rs 169.53/kg (sunflower) and Rs 132.91/kg (palm).

The ministry said the high prices of edible oil in the international market have a “substantial impact” on the domestic prices. The government has formulated a “multi-pronged strategy” to ensure that the prices of essential commodities like edible oils remain controlled, it highlighted.

“The Removal of Licensing Requirements, Stock Limits and Movement Restrictions on Specified Foodstuffs (Amendment) Order, 2021 has been issued with immediate effect i.e. from 8th September, 2021. Future trading on Mustard Oil and Oilseeds was suspended in NCDEX w. e. f October 08, 2021,” it said.

“Measures like rationalisation of import duty structure, launching of a web-portal for self-disclosure of stocks held by various stakeholders etc had already been taken,” it said. “In a consistent effort to further cool down the domestic prices of Edible Oils, the Centre has issued the order which was shared with all States.”

Under this order, the stock limit of all edible oils and oilseeds will be decided by the respective state government/Union territories administration on the basis of available stock and consumption pattern, the ministry said.

Exceptions have been provided for exporters and importers. An exporter being a refiner, miller, extractor, wholesaler or retailer or dealer, having Importer-Exporter Code Number issued by the Director General of Foreign Trade, if such exporter is able to demonstrate that the whole or part of his stock in respect of edible oils and edible oilseeds are meant for exports, according to the statement.

An importer being a refiner, miller, extractor, wholesaler or retailer or dealer, if such importer is able to demonstrate that part of his stock in respect of edible oils and edible oilseeds are sourced from imports, the statement added.

“In case, the stocks held by respective legal entities are higher than the prescribed limits then they shall declare the same on the portal evegoils.nic.in/EOSP/login of Department of Food & Public Distribution and bring it to the prescribed stock limits as decided by the State/UT administration where it is conducting its business, within 30 days of the issue of such notification by the said authorities,” the statement further said.

It shall be ensured by the state governments/Union territory administrations that the stock of edible oils and edible oilseeds is regularly declared and updated on the portal, it underlined.

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