Sharad Pawar launches subsidised palmoil for BPL families

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Hyderabad, July 28 (UNI) With a view to provide relief to the common man from the soaring prices of essential commodities, Union Agriculture and Civil Supplies Minister Sharad Pawar today launched a scheme to distribute subsidised palmoil to those below the poverty line (BPL) in the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Pawar said the Centre decided to make available over 1.20 lakh tonnes of imported palmoil per month to States with a subsidy component of Rs 1,500 crore for distribution to BPL families and insulate them from the soaring edible oil prices.

The Centre had banned import of oilseeds and edible oil, while withdrawing all duties on oilseeds and edible oil, despite a loss of Rs 5,000 crore to the exchequer, to ease the situation in the domestic market, even though the decision might hurt the farmers to some extent, he said.

While the prices of soyabean and sunflower oil rose by 200 per cent, the price of palmoil rose by 175 per cent in one year in the international market, Mr Pawar observed.

He expressed happiness that 23 States have come forward to implement the programme, with Andhra Pradesh taking the lead.

Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy said while the Centre made available imported palmoil at Rs 54 per litre, the State Government on its part added another Rs nine subsidy to provide one litre of palmoil every month to ''white'' ration card holders at the rate of Rs 45 per litre.

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