In view of the international prices of imported edible oils seeing a downward trend, the Centre has directed leading edible oil associations to ensure reduction in the MRP of edible oils by Rs 15 with immediate effect, officials said on Friday.
The Department of Food and Public Distribution, under the Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ministry, has also advised that the price to distributors by the manufacturers and refiners needs to be reduced immediately so that the price drop is not diluted in any way.
During a meeting on Wednesday, it was also impressed upon that whenever a reduction in price to distributors is made by the manufactures/refiners, the benefit should be passed on to the consumers by the industry and the Department may be kept informed on a regular basis. "Some companies which have not reduced their prices and their MRP is higher than other brands have also been advised to reduce their prices," said an official.
During the meeting, it was observed that there is a downward trend in international prices of imported edible oils, which is a very positive picture in the edible oil scenario and, therefore, the domestic edible oil industry needs to ensure that the prices in the domestic market also drop commensurately, and benefit has to be passed on expeditiously to consumers.
Other issues like price data collection, the Control Order on edible oils and packaging of edible oils were also discussed in this meeting.
In May 2022, the Department had convened a meeting with the leading edible oil associations and according to sources, the MRP of refined sunflower oil 1 litre pack was decreased to Rs 210 from Rs 220 and soyabean and 'Kachi Ghani' oil 1 litre pack from Rs 205 to Rs 195.
The reduction in oil prices came in the wake of the Central government reducing the import duty on edible oils making them cheaper. The industry was advised to ensure that the complete benefit of the reduced duty is passed on to the consumers.
The edible oil prices in the international market are witnessing a dramatic fall, however, the situation in the domestic market is slightly different as the fall in the prices are gradual.
The government stepped in and a meeting was convened by the Department of Food and Public Distribution with the leading industry representatives including the SEAI, the IVPA and SOPA to discuss reduction in the retail prices of cooking oils amid a fall in the global prices.
The industry said that the global prices of different edible oils have fallen by $300-450 per tonne in the last one month, but it takes time to reflect in the retail markets and the retail prices are expected to come down in the coming days.