Mustard oil wholesale price up by 38 percent

July 17th, 2008 - 10:41 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) The wholesale price of mustard oil has gone up by 38 percent in the past year, said Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar Thursday. Although there was an increase of 167 percent in the domestic production of oilseeds in the last 12 years - from 10.8 million tonnes in 1985-86 to 28.82 million tonnes in 2007-08 - Pawar said domestic supply of edible oils was still short because of increasing demand.

In order to boost domestic production, the government has increased the minimum support price (MSP) for groundnut from Rs.1,340 per quintal (100 kg) in 2001-02 to Rs.1,550 per quintal in 2007-08.

India’s headline inflation for the week ended July 5 went up to 11.91 percent against 11.89 percent of the week before.

In the case of mustard, the MSP has been increased from Rs.1,300 per quintal in 2001-02 to Rs.1,800 in 2007-08.

An official estimation says the annual consumption of edible oils in India has gone up from 9.8 million tonnes in 2001-02 to 12.4 million tonnes in 2006-07.

The edible oil demand is projected to increase from 12.7 million tonnes in 2007-08 to 14.9 million tonnes in 2011-12.

“The deficit in domestic supply of about four to five million tonnes of edible oils is being met by imports,” Pawar told the members of the consultative committee, which is attached to his ministry.

He said the government had provided relief to the poorer sections of the society by making available edible oil with a subsidy of Rs.15 per kilogram through the states.

“The other measures taken in the context of rise in prices of edible oil include reduction of import duty to zero percent on crude oil and 7.5 percent on refined oils, ban on the export of all major edible oils and authorising the states to impose stock limits,” he said.

The minister said that the groundnut oil price increased by three percent in the domestic market in the past one year. International prices of soybean oil had gone up by 84 percent in the same period, but the domestic price increased only by 45 percent.

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