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Sharmili Mallick

At a time when the industry experts are claiming that the Russia-Ukraine conflict will have no impact on the Indian economy, Odisha Minister for Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare and Cooperation Ranendra Pratap Swain on Friday speculated that the crisis may soon result in an unreasonable rise in the prices of edible oil in the country.

In a series of tweets today, Swain wrote, “Many countries are directly and indirectly affected by the current war situation and are likely to be affected in the coming days. In this case, the price of edible oil in the country, especially sunflower oil, is likely to rise unreasonably. The impact of which has started to be felt in the market.”

“We need to keep in mind that India's most of the demand of edible oil is through export. About 80 per cent of sunflower oil is imported from Ukraine and Russia alone. Therefore, the supply chain of edible oil will definitely be disrupted and there is a huge chance of the rise of its prices,” the Minister said while expressing concerns in another tweet.

The Minister further informed that the concerned departmental officials and district collectors have been instructed to take appropriate measures to prevent the artificial crisis and stop black marketing of the commodity in order to ensure an uninterrupted supply of sunflower oil.

Swain opined that the central government should reduce the imports and other tariffs on edible oils, at least temporarily. “Otherwise, the rise in the price of petrol, diesel, cooking gas, and the increase in the price of edible oils will bring miseries for the poor, farmers, millers, the poor, and even the middle class,” added Swain.

 

 

Meanwhile, Odisha Byabasayee Mahasangha General Secretary Sudhakar Panda said if the supply of edible oil is not regulated by the Centre and the State government, the commodity will vanish from the market soon.

“India imports a total of 28 lakh tonne edible oil of which, 80 per cent is imported from Ukraine and Russia. As the war is underway between the two countries, the supply chain has been disrupted and the import of commodities has been severely affected. A strict vigil should be kept on the corporate houses and business firms importing edible oil from foreign countries regarding the buying and selling prices,” stated Panda.

“The State government is yet to realise the gravity of the situation. I would like to request the government to discuss and take steps so that edible oil remains available in the market of the State,” added Panda.

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