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Take steps to keep edible oil prices in check, Centre to states

New Delhi, Oct 14 (IANS) The Department of Food and Public Distribution has written to all the major oil producing states to take appropriate and immediate action to ensure that the prices of edible oils are brought down to commensurate levels, in line with the import duty reductions.

The Centre has written a letter in this regard to Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, all of which are major oil producing states, a release from the Department said on Thursday.

The letter mentioned that the respective state government has to ensure that full benefits of duty reduction made by the Centre are passed on to the consumers in order to provide immediate relief from the prevailing high prices of edible oils, especially during the festival season.

"This would also help in bringing down the food inflation and provide relief to ordinary consumers by reduction in the prices of edible oils by Rs 15-20 per kg (approx)," the release said.

In a bid to reign in the continuous rise in cooking oil prices since the past one year, the Centre has slashed the basic duty on crude palm oil, crude soyabean oil and crude sunflower oil from 2.5 per cent to nil.

The Agri-cess on these oils has been brought down from 20 per cent to 7.5 per cent for crude palm oil and 5 per cent for crude soyabean oil and crude sunflower oil. The basic duty on RBD palmolein oil, refined soyabean and refined sunflower oil has been slashed to 17.5 per cent from the current 32.5 per cent.

The duty reduction will be effective from October 14, 2021 up to March 31, 2022.

Before Thursday's reduction, the agricultural infrastructure cess on all crude edible oils was 20 per cent. Post the reduction, the effective duty on crude palm oil will be 8.25 per cent, while for crude soyabean oil and crude sunflower oil, it will be 5.5 per cent each from earlier 22.5 per cent for crude palm oil, crude sunflower oil, crude soyabean oil and 32.5 per cent for RBD palmolein, refined soyabean oil and refined sunflower oil.