A week after it appealed to its members to not hoard vegetable oils, the Solvent Extractors Association of India on Wednesday requested the government to upwardly revise the edible oil stock limits for retailers and wholesalers.
Referring to the Centre's order starting April 1, wherein the stock limits imposed on edible oils and oilseeds was extended up to December 31, 2022 in view of the precarious situation in view of the Ukraine-Russia war, the Association has shot off a letter to Secretary, Food & Public Distribution, Sudhanshu Pandey in this regard.
The stock limits for edible oils are 30 quintals for retail and 500 quintals for wholesale while the same for oilseeds are 100 quintals and 2,000 quintals, respectively.
In both cases, the time for processors is 90 days of storage/production capacity.
"You will appreciate that the volumes of both retailers and wholesalers in large metros and semi metros cannot be compared with small cities and sparsely populated areas. This has created an anomalous situation. Further, these days movements from factories to consuming centres are normally in large trucks and tankers of around 30-40 tonne size," Association president Atul Chaturvedi said in the letter.
On April 5, Chaturvedi had appealed to the Association members to strictly adhere to stock limit prescribed under storage control order and also refrain from raising Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of edible oils.
Requesting the Food Secretary to "kindly revisit the norms of storage for wholesalers and retailers," Chaturvedi suggested a limit of 15 days of storage based on average sale of retailer or wholesaler for the last six months.
"The figures declared in GST Returns along with requisite Sales Tax number should be taken as the basis for fixing individual limits. We feel this would not only smoothen out the supply chain but also help in better monitoring and ensuring unscrupulous elements are discouraged," he said.
The April 5 advisory from the Association, a premier association of vegetable oil industry and trade, had said, "These are unusual times and we would advise our members to strictly adhere to the Stock Limits being prescribed under Storage Control Order and also refrain from raising Maximum Retail Price (MRP) upwards to avoid inconvenience. We would also request members to ensure the supply chain is maintained smoothly and consumers are not put to any difficulty."
Domestic prices have been impacted by the high prices of edible oil in the international market and have a substantial impact on the domestic edible oil prices.
Majority of India's import of sunflower oil comes from Ukraine and has been impacted due to the war. The shortage in the global supply chain has had an impact on Indian markets too.
(With inputs from IANS)