The domestic production of edible oils is not adequate to meet their demand in India and the gap between demand and production of edible oils is met through imports, said Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ramvilas Paswan on Friday.
Replying to a query in Rajya Sabha, the minister said: “The production of Soyabean in Maharashtra for 2019-20 is expected to be 42.08 Lakh MT as compared to 45.48 Lakh MT in 2018-19. However, the expected production of 42.08 LMT of Soyabean in 2019-20, in Maharashtra, is more than the last five year average production of 34.77 LMT.”
Paswan was replying to query of Congress Rajya Sabha member Kumar Ketkar who had asked the Minister whether there is a huge gap between demand and supply of edible oil in the country due to the failure of soyabean crop to a very large extent in Maharashtra; and if so, the steps taken by the government to arrest the surge in prices of edible oil in the open market due to this?
He stressed that in case of any decline in the domestic production, the gap between demand and availability is met through import of edible oils. The Minister also said, “The wholesale prices of major edible oils varied from (-) 0.68 per cent Ato (+) 6.88 per cent while the retail prices varied from 0.17 per cent to 7.05 per cent over the past one year.”
He, however, pointed out that during the period, the wholesale and retail price of soyabean oil has increased only by 3.13 per cent and 2.79 per cent, respectively.
He said while government has taken various steps to enhance edible oil production, 60 per cent of its requirement is met through imports while only 40 per cent was met through domestic production. He said its minimum support price has been increased.