New Delhi, Jul 25 (UNI) Agriculture and Food Minister Sharad Pawar will launch 'Scheme for Distribution of Subsidised Edible Oils' on July 28 at Tandur in Ranga Reddy District of Andhra Pradesh for providing relief to the poorer sections of the society from the rising prices of edible oils.
The Central government scheme is slated to distribute 10 lakh tonnes of imported edible oils in 2008-09 at a subsidy of Rs 15/- per kg through State Governments at the rate of one kg per ration card per month.
Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs)-PEC, MMTC, STC and NAFED --have been entrusted with the job of importing, refining, packing and distribution of subsidised edible oils to the States.
The subsidy will be to the tune of Rs 1500 crores. All the State Governments who had asked for oil under the Scheme have been allocated oil by the Department of Food and Public Distribution.
So far, orders have been placed for import of 2.60 lakh tons of edible oils by the PSUs. of this, 1.36 lakh tons of edible oils has been shipped and the entire quantity has landed at various ports in India. As on July 21 (last week) 39,800 MTs of edible oils have been delivered to various States.
The availability of edible oils in the country from domestic sources is less than the demand. The deficit is being met by imports. The import dependence of edible oils has been about 40 per cent of the total consumption of edible oils in the country during the last three years. Hence, international prices affect domestic prices.
To check price rise and ensure availability of edible oils, the Government has taken a number of steps to contain the prices of edible oils.
In 2007, the import duty on crude palm oil was 70 per cent, on refined palm oil was 80 per cent, crude sunflower oil was 75 per cent, refined sunflower oil was 85 per cent and on soya oil was 45 per cent.
Duties on all crude edible oils have been reduced to zero percent and on refined oils to 7.5 per cent since 1st April, 2008.
As a result the revenue of the Government from import duty which was about Rs 4800 crores in 2006-07 and Rs 3500 crores in 2007-08 will be very little this year.
The price situation of edible oils in the international market vis-a-vis domestic market during the last one year is as under: For Soybean oil the percentage variation in international prices during the last two years was 203 per cent while the variation in domestic prices of these oils during the last two years was 72 per cent.
Similary for Palmolein 167 per cent and 45 per cent respectively.
The same is the case for sunflower oil which registered international price variations at 195 per cent and domestic at 67 per cent.
UNI JSS AK NS2004