The Mangaluru council of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has asked the Centre to permit import of RBD (refined, bleached and deodorised) palmolein oil, Hindu BusinessLine reported.

RBD palmolein oil is currently on the restricted list, K Prakash Rao, Chairman of the Mangaluru council of CII, told the publication.

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On March 22, the Centre advised lockdown of 75 districts across the country, permitting only essential services.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.

Mangaluru, Karnataka has only two major refiners, which means that supply will be affected if the facilities are closed, BusinessLine reported.

In Karnataka, 27 cases of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, have been recorded so far. In India, Over 400 confirmed cases and seven deaths have been reported.

Vessel rotation has slowed, hurting supply of edible oil. Ships carrying edible oil from countries hit by COVID-19 are expected to follow a 15-day quarantine period before entering India.

Existing refineries are functioning on reduced capacity, the report said.

“The import of RBD palmolein should be allowed, at least for actual users, so that the country is fully prepared to supply sufficient edible oil in any worst-case scenario during the COVID-19. Failing this, we will face severe edible oil shortage in the market,” Rao told the paper.

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