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Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar: Amid rising fuel prices, skyrocketing rates of edible oils have dealt a double shock to the consumers in Odisha. The situation has forced the State government to come under intense criticism of the Opposition political parties.

According to sources, price of the kitchen essential has become dearer by 60 to 70 per cent in the last six months. Refined oils which were priced at 95 per litre in October last year are now being sold at Rs 165 per litre. Similarly, palmolein oil, once sold at Rs 80 per litre now costs Rs 130.

The price of mustard oil also witnessed a massive jump in the last couple of months. The price of mustard oil per litre which was Rs 90 in October last year has become costlier by Rs 60 a litre, affecting the kitchen budget.

The spiralling oil prices have forced homemakers to go on a budget cut and urge the government to take measures to control the prices as the financial condition of people have been considerably hit due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Saghamitra Patnaik, a housewife in Bhubaneswar said, “The oil which we used to buy at Rs 100 is now being sold at Rs 150. If the government does not stabilise the price, it will adversely affect us.”

Another homemaker in Cuttack, Sakuntala Behera has also called upon the government to take urgent measures to bring the prices under control.

Meanwhile, the Opposition political parties have lashed out at both the Centre and State government for the inflation.

Congress has alleged that edible oil prices increased as the Centre hiked the import duty and cess while the State government has not taken any measures to bring stability in the prices. Party MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati said, “Sunflower farmers, mustard and flaxseed farmers in the State cannot sell their produce properly. The government is not encouraging the oilseed farmers in the State.”

Similarly, BJP questioned what measures have been taken by the State government to promote oilseed crops in the State. Legislator Mohan Majhi said, “The State should implement policy in the line of Centre, but that has not been done. So far the State government has not taken action against any firm which is illegally increasing the prices of oils.”

However, the ruling party passed the buck saying that the Centre is fully responsible for the control of oil prices. Government chief whip Pramila Mallick said, “The oilseed farming has relatively decreased in Odisha for which the State is importing edible oils from other parts of the country.”

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