Govt asks edible oil industry to pass on benefits of reduced prices to consumers

New Delhi (IANS) The government on Thursday directed the edible oil industry to pass on to consumers, the benefits of low prices, with immediate effect.

In a meeting with stakeholders, Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra said that consumers should get the benefit of reduced prices as fall in prices of edible oils in international markets is gradually being reflected in the domestic markets as well.

The stakeholders were advised to take up the issue with their members immediately and ensure that the MRP of each oil brand be reduced in line with the decline in the international prices of edible oils with immediate effect.

Representatives from the Solvent Extraction Association of India (SEAI) and the Indian Vegetable Oil Producers’ Association (IVPA) were present in the meeting to discuss further reduction in the retail prices of cooking oils amidst fall in global prices, official sources said.

The industry informed that the global prices of different edible oils have fallen by $200-250 per tonne in the last two months, but it takes time to reflect in the retail markets and the retail prices are expected to come down shortly.

However, they were told by the Food Department in the meeting that price to distributors (PTD) by the manufacturers and refiners also needs to be reduced with immediate effect so that the price decline is not diluted in any way.

It was also impressed upon that whenever a reduction in price to distributors is made by the manufactures or refiners, the benefit should be passed on to the consumers by the industry and the government should be kept informed on a regular basis. Some companies which have not reduced their prices and their MRP is higher than other brands, were also advised to reduce their prices, sources added.

Other issues like price data collection and packaging of edible oils were also discussed in this meeting.

With the edible oil prices beginning to show a downward trend and are set to fall further once the industry reduces prices, consumers may get the benefit of paying less for edible oils.

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