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Ministerial Panel Considers Sale of Only Packaged Edible Oils

2 Jun 2020 11:20 am
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Mumbai (commodities Control)- Government has an inter-ministerial committee, set up last week, to consider sale of edible oil only in packaged form in retail markets, primarily to ensure quality.

Representatives from the farm and health ministries are part of the committee. A notification on sale of only packaged edible oils could come within a month, the official said. Around 40% of the edible oil in the country is being sold in loose form, which could be easily adulterated, the official said, adding that this posed a health risk for buyers. The change would provide an opportunity to packaged and branded players in the edible oil industry to ramp up production and sales, The Solvent Extractors' Association of India Executive Director B.V. Mehta said today. The government set up the committee after receiving several complaints and finding out that in many cases, the loose edible oil in retail markets failed to comply with quality norms, the official said. Blending of edible oils is allowed to a certain extent to enhance nutritional value, but adulteration is a punitive crime as it takes a toll on the health of consumers, the official said. Some experts believe the move allowing only packaged edible oil would lead to an increase in prices, as traditional buyers of loose edible oil may not be able to afford it. Packed edible oil typically commands a premium over its loose form. India is the world's largest importer and one of the leading consumers of edible oil. It imports palm oil, and crude version of soyoil, sunoil and mustard oil. Refined palm oil is the cheapest of all the available oils in the country, and usually preferred in loose form. Of the total annual edible oil consumption of 26 mln tn in India, 15 mln tn is imported and the rest is produced from homegrown oilseeds.

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