Inspections have revealed very large hoardings of soyabean and mustard seeds in Dewas, Shajapur & Guna districts of Madhya Pradesh. These seeds were much above the stock limit prescribed by the Government. Hoarding of seeds have pushed up the prices of soyabean oil. The State Government has been asked to step in to take necessary action under the EC Act, 1955.
In Maharashtra and Rajasthan, large quantities of edible oils were found in excess of the prescribed quantities of the control order. Wholesalers and Big Chain Retail outlets were the main violators. The State Governments have been requested to take corrective measures in accordance with the relevant sections of the EC Act.
Inspection is ongoing in the remaining five States.
The State Governments of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have also been requested to ensure that supply chain is not affected while taking action under EC Act.
In order to ensure strict enforcement of the Central Order of 30th March 2022 and 3rd February 2022, Central teams from the Department of Food & Public Distribution have been deputed to conduct surprise inspections of the stocks of edible oils & oilseeds held by Retailers, Wholesalers, Big Chain Retailers and Processors in major oilseed producing and consuming States. Teams have been sent to Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Telangana, Gujarat & Delhi.
The Government of India has taken several proactive steps in the last few months to stabilize the prices of edible oils in the country, including declaration of stocks by all stockholders of edible oils and oilseeds under the Essential Commodities Act (EC Act), 1955.
In order to curb price escalation on account of hoarding and resultant artificial scarcity of edible oils, which is a basic necessity in the food basket, the Government of India has notified a Central Order on 30th March, 2022 amending the Removal of Licensing Requirements, Stock Limits and Movement Restrictions on Specified Foodstuffs Order, 2016 and its Central Order dated 3rd February, 2022 by extending the stock limits for all Edible Oils and Oilseeds put together for a period upto 31st December, 2022 for all States/Union Territories. This order is effective from 1st April, 2022 upto 31st December 2022.
Effective enforcement of the EC Act, 1955 by the States is crucial and requires supportive action by the State Governments and other authorities at all levels with the aim of ensuring adequate availability of essential commodities at reasonable prices including edible oils for the common man.
Prices of cooking oil are on an upwards swing globally. The domestic prices of edible oils have been following the international suit and the prices have increased considerably over the past one month which may be attributed to the current geopolitical condition.