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In the festive season, the government has started taking strict steps to prevent inflation in the prices of pulses and edible oil in the country. Along with increasing the imports from abroad, the government has also directed the state governments to check hoarding of food items.

Food Ministry Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said that due to the labour crisis in Malaysia and the diversion of edible oils for bio-fuels, there has been a jump in the international prices of edible oils. Despite this, its prices in India have not been affected much. Food oil prices in India are low, despite the high international prices.

He said that along with increasing the import of edible oils, the government has also directed the state governments to strictly curb its hoarding. Mustard oil production has increased by 10 lakh metric tonnes. The government hopes that the effect of these steps will be visible soon and the prices of edible oil will start coming down. With this, people will get relief from inflation in the festive season.

The official said that the government is also making constant efforts to control the prices of pulses. Toor dal has been imported more this time as compared to last year. The prices of edible oil and pulses in the country will be reviewed again by meeting with the states next month. He claimed that the prices of edible oil and pulses in the country will start coming down from February. By that time, a new crop would have arrived, which would provide relief from rising inflation.

Pandey said that the state governments will start fixing the stock limit from next week after holding talks with the traders. If any trader is found collecting more stock than the prescribed limit, legal action will be taken against him. He informed that the ministry will have a meeting every week to keep an eye on the price of onions. At present, there is a buffer stock of 1 lakh tonnes of onions in the country.

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