New Delhi: The sporadic rise in the prices of edible oil are adding to the woes of consumers already reeling under the economic distress induced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government has taken a couple of steps to contain the rise in edible oils prices in the last ten days. It is in the wake of the unabated rise in edible oil prices Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey is going to hold a crucial meeting today (Monday, May 24), sources told Zee Media.
Soybean oil prices have been sold in retail between Rs 70 and Rs 80 per kg till a year ago. However, after the spike in prices Soybean oil had to be sold for upto Rs 90 a kg in retail markets. Soybean oil prices started rising during the first lockdown in 2020 in the wake of COVID-19. The edible oil broke all inflationary records, with prices touching between Rs 165 and Rs 170 kg in retail market.
All the big officials from NAFED MD to Secretary level will be present in the virtual meeting. Senior officials of state governments may also be present. Food and Agriculture Secretaries of those states which have major production of soya and oilseeds will also attend the meeting. Food and Agriculture Secretaries of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan may attend the meeting.
Among the major agenda of the meeting will be discussion on levying agriculture infrastructure and development cess on imported oil. Guidelines related to stock limits may also be issued for millers, stockists and traders involved in oil trading.
States can be instructed to control edible oil prices using the Essential Commodities Act.
The online meeting is expected to take place at 3pm today.