Centre asks edible oil firms to cut prices by Rs 15/ltr immediately
Centre asks edible oil firms to cut prices by Rs 15/ltr immediately

The Central government has directed leading edible oil associations to ensure that major edible oil entities reduce the maximum retail price of edible oils by 15 rupees per ltr with immediate effect, it said in a release.

The government requested an immediate price cut from manufacturers and refiners to distributors in a meeting on Wednesday with representatives from the edible oil industry and key market actors, so that the price drop is not diluted in any way.

According to the government, international prices of imported edible oils are on a downward trend, which is positive news for the domestic industry. "The domestic edible oil industry needs to ensure that the prices in the domestic market also drop commensurately," the release said. The price cut should reflect on the end consumers invariably, it added.

Refined soyoil, at present, is available at around 200 rupees per litre in the retail market, and sunflower oil is sold at 225-230 rupees per liter. The government has taken a number of steps, including a reduction in customs duties till September 30, to bring down edible oil prices in the domestic market.

In May, it allowed the annual import of 2 million tonne each of crude soybean and crude sunflower oils for the next two years at zero duty to help soften domestic prices. Edible oil is India's third-largest imported commodity, after crude oil and gold. Annually, India imports about 15 million tonnes worth 750 bln rupees, making it the world's largest edible oil importer.

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