All States brought under single Central order on stock limits for edible oils, oilseeds to check rising prices
New Delhi, April 5, 2022
The Union Government has notified a Central Order dated March 30, 2022 extending the stock limits for all edible oils and oil seeds put together for a period up to December 31, 2022 for all States and Union Territories (UTs) as part of efforts to curb the rising edible oil prices.
The prices are going up due to the overall global inflation in commodities brought about by the current geopolitical situation and the supply chain disruptions.
The order, effective from April 1 to December 31, amends the Removal of Licensing Requirements, Stock Limits and Movement Restrictions on Specified Foodstuffs Order, 2016 and the Central Order dated 3rd February, 2022.
Six States -- Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan and Bihar -- which had issued their own control order in pursuance of Central Order dated 8th October, 2022, have also been brought under the purview of the latest order with effect from April 1.
With the issue of this Central Order, all States and UTs have been brought under one single order. The six states mentioned above were earlier exempted from the Central Order dated 3rd February 2022 as they had issued their own Central Orders.
In order to enforce the Stock Limit Orders, eight Central Teams have been deputed by the Government of India, Department of Food & Public Distribution for strict compliance and enforcement of the latest Central Order.
The surprise inspections are presently underway in selected districts of eight States for checking the stocks of edible oils and oilseeds at the ground level, with the retailers, wholesalers, big chain retailers and processors. These States are Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Gujarat, West Bengal and Delhi.
"Strict action in accordance to the provisions in the Essential Commoties Act will be initiated against the entities, if found to be violating the Act," the release said.
The release said that, at present, the domestic production of edible oils is unable to meet the country's domestic demand. The country has to rely on a large scale on imports to meet the gap between demand and supply. Around 56% of the edible oils segment consumed in the country is met through imports.
"The recent geo-political events have pushed the international prices of all edible oils to all time high levels. Hence, a need was felt to inspect the domestic market participants to ensure that no unfair practices are being resorted to by unscrupulous elements like hoarding and profiteering.
"The above Stock Limit Order notified by the Government, empowers the Union Government and all States/UTs to regulate storage and distribution of edible oils and oilseeds. This step coupled with surprise inspections seeks to help the Government in checking hoarding of edible oils and oilseeds in the country and ensure that the prices of edible oils, which is a basic necessity, do not go out of reach of common man," the release added.