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Rashmi Rekha Das

The price of edible oils has been on a rise in the domestic market for quite some time amid soaring inflation. In a bid to give some relief to the consumers, the Central government on Tuesday allowed duty-free import of 20 lakh metric tonnes each of crude soyabean oil and crude sunflower oil.

According to the Finance Ministry notification, the duty-free import is for this year (2022-23) as well as for 2023-24. This would mean till March 31, 2024, a total of 80 lakh MT of crude soyabean oil and crude sunflower oil could be imported duty-free. 

This exemption is expected to help cool domestic prices and control inflation. The Central government’s move will no doubt provide some relief to consumers from rising prices of essential and day-to-day items.

Meanwhile, general secretary of Odisha Traders’ Body, Sudhakar Panda said, “We import 25 lakh tonne edible oil from foreign countries. With the Centre all set to make import duty-free, price of edible oil may witness a sharp fall to Rs 20-25 per litre. That apart, price of mustard oil will also come down as we have yielded a good amount of mustard seeds.”

Prices of refined oils, which were sold at 95 per litre in October 2021, increased to Rs 165 per litre in the last couple of months. Similarly, palmolein oil, once sold at Rs 80 per litre increased to around Rs 130.

The price of mustard oil also witnessed a massive jump since the beginning of 2022. The price of mustard oil per litre, which was Rs 90 in October last year, has become costlier by Rs 60 a litre. At some places, sunflower oil and mustard oil are even sold at Rs 160 and Rs 200 respectively.

So, if the prices are slashed by Rs 20-25, it will come as a major relief for consumers, and the prices of refined oils, palmolein oil and mustard oil may decrease to an affordable rate for consumers.

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