The minister noted that the prices of essential commodities including edible oils are impacted by various factors such as demand-supply gap, weather conditions, logistics issues and international prices.
“Domestic production of edible oils is unable to meet the domestic demand. The gap between the demand and supply of edible oils is around 56 per cent and is met through imports. Increase in the international prices of edible oils have an impact on domestic prices of edible oils in the country,” she said.
In 2020-21, the domestic production of edible oils stood at 111.51 lakh tonnes, while imports were recorded at 134.52 lakh tonnes and demand was for 246.03 lakh tonnes.
Last year, the all-lndia average domestic retail prices of groundnut oil stood at Rs 176.28 per kg as against Rs 147 per kg in 2020.
Mustard oil prices increased to Rs 170.67 per kg from Rs 123.34 per kg, while vanaspati rates soared to Rs 131.02 per kg from Rs 92.27 per kg.
Retail prices of soyabean oil increased to Rs 147.26 per kg from 102.76 per kg, while sunflower oil jumped from Rs 114.23 per kg to Rs 164.36 per kg. Palm oil prices went up to Rs 128.28 per kg from Rs 92.14 per kg during the period under review.
“The Government of India has been implementing a centrally-sponsored scheme, National Food Security Mission- Oilseeds & Oil palm (NFSM-OS&OP), from 2018-19 to augment the availability of vegetable oils and to reduce the import of edible oils by increasing the production and productivity of oilseeds and area expansion of Oil Palm & Tree Borne Oilseeds in the country,” she informed.
The minister highlighted that the government has launched the National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP). It has been launched to promote oil palm cultivation with a special focus on the Northeastern states and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
In order to improve the domestic availability of edible oils and to keep the prices under control, the government has been rationalising the duty structure on edible oils during 2021-22 to reduce the burden of high prices on common man.