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Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: The unabated rise in the price of edible oil has made a deep hole in the pockets of people, especially the middle-class families which are finding the new change in kitchen budget hard to meet with.

On Wednesday, the price of mustard oil was Rs 140-Rs 145 per litre in Cuttack Malgodown while sunflower oil and pamolein oil were sold between Rs 150-Rs 155 and Rs 105-Rs 110 per litre, respectively. Traders of the Malgodown area said that they had never seen such a hike in pamolein oil price before.

“We have a limited fund within which we make transactions. Now, due to almost 100 per cent rise in the price of edible oils, we are not finding it difficult to invest,” said Prafulla Chotei, general secretary of traders’ association, Cuttack.

There has been a sharp rise in the prices of edible oil in the last one year. As per the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, the average prices of edible oils have increased by up to 25-30 per cent in the past one year.

While a packet of 1 litre mustard oil was Rs 113 last year, it now costs Rs 140. Similarly, sunflower oil now cost Rs 150- a rise of Rs 40 as compared to the last year’s price. Groundnut, vanaspati and palm oil prices have also gone up significantly, the ministry informed.

Meanwhile, experts say that India depends largely on foreign countries for edible oils and as oil prices have increased in the international market, it has led to the sharp rise in edible oil prices back home.

The prices of the edible oil has increased by almost double in the past six months. The government needs to focus on production of edible oil in the country instead of depending on import, said Sudhakar Panda, general secretary of the state traders' association.

“To mitigate the present situation of rising prices, government should immediately slash the import duty and the agriculture cess,” he added.

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