Inspection Drive Begun To Curb Edible Oils Hoarding: Food Secretary

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Inspection Drive Begun To Curb Edible Oils Hoarding: Food Secretary

Government has initiated surprise checks to curb hoarding of edible oils

New Delhi:

Government on Monday said it has initiated an inspection drive to curb hoarding and black marketing of edible oils and oilseeds to arrest rising retail prices and boost their availability.

The country, which is dependent on the imports of edible oil to meet over 60 per cent of its domestic demand, has seen a sharp rise in retail prices of various types of cooking oils in the last couple of months due to the global geopolitical situation. The prices have continued to rule firm despite several government measures.

“The government has taken many measures. A recent step is that we have initiated an inspection drive from April 1 to curb hoarding and black marketing of edible oils and oilseeds,” Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said.

Mr Pandey said that a central team along with state government officials is conducting inspections in various oilseeds and edible oil-producing states.

Large states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra are being covered now, he said, adding that the drive will be intensified in the coming days.

About other measures, the secretary said the government has already cut import duty on edible oils, extended stock holding limits and ensured early clearance of vessels at ports, besides facilitating imports through private traders.

That apart, the Centre is holding regular meetings with states to ensure maximum retail price (MRP) fixed by wholesalers are being adhered to by the retailers, Mr Pandey said.

In the case of sunflower oil, the secretary said Russia and Ukraine are the two major suppliers, and private traders are making efforts to source from other countries, but it would be of a small quantity.

As per the data maintained by the consumer affairs ministry, there has been sharp surge in average retail prices of soyabean oil, sunflower oil and palm oil in the last three months.

The average retail price of sunflower oil is ruling as high as Rs 184.58 per kg as on April 4 compared to the rate of Rs 161.71 a kg on January 1 this year.

Similarly, the average retail price of soyabean oil has increased to Rs 162.13 per kg from Rs 148.59 per kg, while that of palm oil has risen to Rs 151.59 per kg from Rs 128.28 per kg in the said period.

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