With the change in the consumption pattern of edible oils over the years, stakeholders are seeking revision of weightage for edible oil in WPI (wholesale price index).
According to Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) of India, the current per capita consumption of edible oil is estimated between 16.5 and 17.5 kg per annum. According to it,
Gujarat and Maharashtra have a higher level of per capita consumption compared to developing States. Similarly, people from rich and upper middle class consume much larger quantum of oils and fats when compared to poorer sections of society.
It feels that the India’s edible oils consumption is projected to rise between 2 and 3 per cent per annum in the next 5-10 years depending upon economic growth and population increase in the country.
In a letter to the members of SEA, Atul Chaturvedi, its President, said that weightage for edible oils in WPI, fixed in 2011-12, is 2.64293 per cent under food articles.
“We understand the weightage is based on consumption pattern and average price. The consumption pattern has totally changed in the last few years. There is a wide variation in consumption pattern of various oils within the edible oil group and its proportionate weightage. We have requested the Ministry of Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution to examine and review the weightage of edible oil in WPI due to changes in consumption pattern and also the prices in the last few years,” he said.
Chaturvedi said the surveys conducted by National Institute of Nutrition indicated that consumption of oils and fats is highly skewed. In this context, it is necessary to generate authentic data on per-capita consumption of edible oils in the country in various regions, income groups variations from season to season, socio-economic classifications etc. The basic objective is to generate realistic data to the extent possible that will help the stakeholders understand the demand projection in the coming years for calibrating their responses.
“We have requested the Ministry of Food and Public Distribution to undertake the survey to estimate per capita consumption of edible oils covering entire India. As a responsible Association we have offered to collaborate in this endeavour,” he said.
Asked if the global price rise for edible oils is also a reason for seeking a revision of weightage in WPI, BV Mehta, Executive Director of SEA, told BusinessLine that it has got nothing to do with local operations or spike in prices.
A look at the SEA data shows that the price of palm oil has gained about 60 per cent year-on-year, while that of soyabean de-gummed or crude oil 40 per cent, and sunflower oil 72 per cent.