With the continuous rise in cooking oil prices, the Center has imposed stock limits on edible oils and oilseeds till the end of March next year. In a statement on 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 the period up to March 31, 2022.”
The decision of the Center will bring down the prices of edible oils in the domestic market, which will bring great relief to the consumers across the country.
This step has been taken 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 touched Rs 184.15 per kg on Friday, with at least 22 centers 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. The retail prices of other edible oils are Rs 182.61 per kg for groundnut oil, Rs 136.59 per kg (vegetable), Rs 155 per kg (soya), Rs 169.53 per kg (sunflower) and Rs 132.91 per kg (palm).
The ministry said the high prices of edible oil in the international market have had a “substantial impact” on the domestic prices. The government has devised a “multi-pronged strategy” to ensure that prices of essential commodities like edible oils remain under control, it highlighted.
“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 will be allowed in NCDEX from 08th October. was suspended, 2021,” it said.
“Measures like rationalization of import duty structure, introduction of a web-portal for self-disclosure of shares held by various stakeholders, etc. have already been taken,” it said. “In a continuous effort to further cool the domestic prices of edible oils, the Center has issued an order which was shared with all the states.”
Under this order, the stock limit of all edible oils and oilseeds will be decided by the respective state government/UT administration on the basis of available stock and consumption pattern, the ministry said.
Exceptions have been provided for exporters and importers. An exporter is a refiner, miller, extractor, wholesaler or retailer or dealer who has an Importer-Exporter Code number issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, if such exporter is able to demonstrate that the full extent of his stock in respect of food Oils and edible oilseeds are for export as per part 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, is obtained from imports , the statement said.
“If the stocks held by the concerned legal entities exceed the prescribed limit, they will declare it on the Food and Public Distribution Department portal evegoils.nic.in/EOSP/login and bring it up to the prescribed stock limit. As decided by the State/UT Administration where he is carrying on his business, within 30 days from the date of issue of such notification by the said authorities,” the statement further said.
It will be ensured by the State Governments/ UT Administrations that the stock of edible oils and edible oilseeds is regularly declared and updated on the portal, it underlined.