The Department of Food and Public Distribution has directed leading edible oil associations to ensure a reduction in the maximum retail price (MRP) of edible oils by Rs 15 (per litre) with immediate effect, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said on Friday.
The government has also advised that the price to distributors by the manufacturers and refiners also needs to be reduced immediately so that the price drop is not diluted in any way.
It was also impressed upon that whenever a reduction in price to distributors is made by the manufacturers/refiners, the benefit should be passed on to the consumers by the industry and the Department may be kept informed on a regular basis. Some companies which have not reduced their prices and their MRP is higher than other brands have also been advised to reduce their prices.
The Department of Food and Public Distribution gave the directions during a meeting held with edible oil associations.
"During the meeting it was discussed that the international prices of imported edible oils are on a downward trend which is a very positive picture in the edible oil scenario and, therefore, the domestic edible oil industry needs to ensure that the prices in the domestic market also drop commensurately," the ministry said in a statement.
"This price drop has to be passed on expeditiously to consumers without in a laggard fashion. Other issues like price data collection, Control Order on edible oils, and packaging of edible oils were also discussed in this meeting," it said.
In May 2022, the Department convened a meeting with the leading edible oil associations. Following the meeting prices of several popular edible oil brands were reduced.
MRP (Maximum Retail Price) of Fortune Refined Sunflower Oil 1 litre pack was decreased to Rs 210 from Rs 220 and MRP of Soyabean (Fortune) and Kachi Ghani oil 1 litre pack from Rs 205 to Rs 195.
The reduction came in the wake of the government reducing the import duty on edible oils making them cheaper. The industry was advised to ensure that the complete benefit of the reduced duty is passed on to the consumers invariably.
The edible oil prices in the international market are witnessing a dramatic fall, however, the situation in the domestic market is slightly different as the fall in the prices is gradual.
The Centre stepped in and a meeting was convened by the Department of Food and Public Distribution with the leading industry representatives including SEAI, IVPA and SOPA to discuss reduction in the retail prices of cooking oils amid a fall in the global prices.
The industry informed that the global prices of different edible oils have fallen by $300-450 per tonnes in the last one month, but it takes time to reflect in the retail markets and the retail prices are expected to come down in the coming days.
The Department is continuously monitoring the prices and availability situation of edible oil in the country and it is imperative that the benefit of reduced duty structure on edible oils and the continuous significant drop in prices at the international market be immediately passed on to the end consumers without fail.
The consumers can look forward to save some extra money in their kitchen budget, the ministry said.