Ahead of the Diwali festivities, the Centre has called a meeting with state and Union Territories on Monday to review the action taken on the stock limit order on edible prices.
Stating that it is monitoring the prices of edible oils and its availability to the consumers, the Department of Food and Public Distribution said ut will hold the meeting with all states/UTs through video conferencing on the issue, which is especially important to the context of the upcoming festival season during which demand of edible oils will increase.
In a letter to all states, Secretary, Food and Public Distribution, Sudhanshu Pandey said that to ease prices of edible oils for relief of consumer, various steps have already been taken by the government, based on the interaction with all the states and edible oil industry associations and a stock disclosure notification has been issued.
This letter comes two days after a letter on Friday to the states and UTs had dwelt on the issue and said that it is the responsibility of the states to enforce relevant provisions of the Essential Commodities Act and take action on the ground against hoarders.
The Department has created a web portal to monitor the stock of edible oils/oilseeds on a weekly basis in the country, it said in a release.
Demand and consumption of edible oil is different for the different states/UTs as per the preference of the consumers. However, for finalising the stock limit quantity of edible oils and oilseeds, the states/UTs may consider/explore the previous stock limit imposed for edible oils and oilseeds by the state/UTs. It may be considered that any stakeholder (refiners, miller, wholesaler etc.) should not hold the stocks in excess two months of the storage capacity.
For guidance, states may refer to indicative limits, which may have been imposed by the states earlier. "However, for other categories, similar quantities as appropriate for the state may be fixed. For example: for refiners, stocks of maximum of two months of the average scale of last six months could be used. Similarly, quantities may be fixed for extractors/millers may be fixed," the Centre said.