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Business News/ Industry / Agriculture/  Govt asks edible oil firms to immediately slash retail prices by 8-12 per litre

The Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) asked edible oil companies on Friday to immediately reduce the maximum retail prices (MRP) on their products by 8-12 per litr, citing a drop in global oil prices. 

The department said the cost benefits should be promptly transferred to consumers in a meeting with major industry bodies including the Solvent Extraction Association of India (SEA) and the Indian Vegetable Oil Producers’ Association (IVPA).

In a meeting over a month ago with leading edible oil associations, the DFPD facilitated reductions of   5-15 per litre for key brands' refined sunflower oil and refined soybean oil. Similar reductions have been implemented in mustard oil and other edible oils. These changes came in the wake of declining international prices and lower import duty on edible oils.

Global prices of different edible oils have fallen by $150-200 per tonne in the last two months and some domestic brands have reduced the maximum retail price (MRP). The industry said in the meeting they would further reduce prices shortly. However, there is an element of time lag for reflection in the retail markets.

At the second meeting held within a month, the DFPD also suggested a swift reduction in prices to distributors by manufacturers and refiners to prevent dilution of the price drop's impact. The department emphasised that any reductions should benefit consumers directly and be regularly communicated to the government.

Companies maintaining higher prices than other brands were specifically asked to reduce their prices. Issues like price data collection and packaging of edible oils were also discussed in the meeting.

With edible oil prices expected to continue decreasing, Indian consumers can heave a sigh of relief and the situation may also help allay inflation concerns.

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Puja Das
Puja Das is a New Delhi based policy reporter covering food, farm, fertiliser, water, and climate policies for Mint. Puja reports on farmers' distress and how the agriculture sector is impacting India's rural economy and policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at COP27. Puja holds a post-graduation degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, Bangalore.
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Updated: 02 Jun 2023, 06:22 PM IST
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