Amid rising prices of edible oil, the government has reduced the import duty on crude palm oil by 5 per cent to lower retail prices of edible oils and to provide relief to the consumers.

Further, to bring down the prices of refined Palm oil (RBD Palmolein) , the Department of Food and Public Distribution has recommended removal of the restriction on import of RBD Palmolein and to put it in the open general category of imports.

These moves are expected to lower prices of edible oils for the domestic consumers, the Food Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday (30 June).

The major edible oils consumed in the country are mustard, soyabean, groundnut, sunflower sesame oil, niger seed, safflower seed, castor and linseed (primary source) and coconut, palm oil, cottonseed, rice bran, solvent extracted oil, tree and forest origin oil.

The total domestic demand of edible oils in the country is approximately 250 lakh metric tonne (LMT) per year. Around 60 per cent of the edible oils consumed in the country is met through imports, the ministry said.

Palm oils (crude + refined) import constitutes around 60 per cent of the total edible oil imported, out of which 54 per cent is imported from Indonesia and Malaysia.

As the country has to depend heavily on imports to meet the gap between demand and supply, the International prices have an impact on domestic prices of edible oils, the ministry said.

Food inflation including high prices of edible oils has been a cause of concern and therefore the government has been monitoring their prices and taking steps by way of removing bottlenecks to soften prices, it added.

According to the ministry, the international prices of crude edible oil and refined palm oil were showing declining trend in prices over the past one month. Still, the prices of domestic refined palm oil and crude edible oil remained high, it said.

“The government, keeping in view the consumer interest due to rising prices of Edible oil, has reduced the duty on CPO duty by 5 per cent. Further, to cool down the prices of RBD Palmolein (refined Palm oil) , DFPD recommended removal of the restriction on import of RBD Palmolein and put it in the open general category of imports to support its availability at lower prices for the domestic consumer,” the ministry said.

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