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Edible oil industry asks Centre to create a buffer stock of oilseeds

The COOIT, an apex body for the vegetable oils sector, also asked to widen the gap between import duties of crude edible oils and refined edible oils.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

On the lines of pulses, Centre should create a buffer stock of oil seeds of at least 2.5 million tones so as to enhance domestic production and reduce imports of cooking oils, demanded the Central Organization for Oil Industry and Trade (COOIT) in its budget wish-list.

The procurement for the proposed creation of buffer stock should be made at market price at the very beginning of crop season that would ensure oil processing units would operate throughout the year, the COOIT said.

The COOIT, an apex body for the vegetable oils sector, also asked to widen the gap between import duties of crude edible oils and refined edible oils. “India imported edible oils worth Rs 1.17 lakh crore, an all-time high, in the 2020-21 oil marketing year ended October, mainly due to a sharp rise in global prices,” the COOIT Chairman Suresh Nagpal said.

“We urge the government to launch a dedicated scheme in the upcoming budget with significant allocation to encourage farmers for cultivation of various oilseeds crops like mustard, soybean and sunflower,” he added.

“Like wheat and rice, a small quantity of mustard oil can be supplied every month to over 80 crore beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act at a subsidized rate. This will prompt farmers to cultivate mustard,” COOIT Chairman said.

The Government has been trying to encourage mustard cultivation and results have started showing. This year the area under mustard cultivation is likely to increase by 25% and mustard production is estimated at 110 lakh tones.

“If the Government creates a buffer stock of 25 lakh tones of mustard, it will further encourage mustard cultivation and also act as a price stabilization mechanism in case of sharp fluctuations in mustard prices as it was witnessed during 2021,” Suresh Nagpal said.