Edible Oil Control Continues

Controls imposed on edible oil and oilseeds under the Essential Commodities Act will continue for another one year, as the Government tries to ensure adequate supply of these items to check price rise.

The Union Secretary Consumer Affairs, Avinash K Srivastava has informed the State Government in this regard and said that the restrictions on stock and movement of these products are extended till 30 September, 2018.
As there is significant gap in domestic production of oilseeds and edible oils vis-à-vis the consumption requirement, there is a lot of move experienced on price manipulation of these products.
The mismatch between demand and supply making this sector susceptible to price manipulation through speculation and hoarding, said the senior official.
As the Country imports 60 Percent of its requirement of edible oils and given the significance of these items in dietary preference and food basket, any speculative rise in prices is avoidable, and therefore the need to continue with control measures.
  “The decision has been taken to ensure that people do not face any difficulty. With the extension, state governments can take various measures available under this Act to ensure adequate supplies to people,” the official said.
This will enable States to regulate trade of these essential commodities and to continue to take effective operations under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
They can impose stock limits/licensing requirements, etc., to curb unscrupulous trading, hoarding and profiteering, he said.
The extension will also help states in tackling the problem of ensuring adequate availability of these commodities in the domestic market and keep prices under control, the official added.
In 2014, keeping in mind the rising prices of pulses, the Union Government decided to bring these commodities under the Essential Commodities Act (ECA).
However as the situation was deteriorating the State Governments were  allowed to put restrictions till 30 September, 2017.
And now the Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) has allowed further another one year to put restrictions by the State Government and the authorities have been asked to issue appropriate orders in this regard.
In case the State Government decides to extend the validity of any existing order without further changes, such extension shall be deemed to have prior approval of the Union Government, said Mr.Srivastava.
State Government has been urged to hold periodic meetings with the traders, farmers, retailers and consumer associations at the State and district levels by the concerned Administrative Agencies to provide succor to the consumers.

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