Govt shores up sugar, edible oils ahead of festive season

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New Delhi, Sep 26 (UNI) With the festive season ahead, the country's foodgrain situation including the wheat buffer stock and rice procurement was comfortably placed besides augmentation of 10 lakh tonnes of edible oils for public service distribution (PDS).

Following measures taken by the government, ex-mill prices have declined by Rs 10 to Rs 115 a quintal over the week ending September 5. During the week under review, ex-mill prices declined by Rs 5 to Rs 80 a quintal in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka over the week ending September 12, a Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food&Public Distribution release said.

Of the 10 lakh tonnes of subsidised edible oils to be distributed during 2008-2009 through state governments, so far orders have been placed for 3.12 lakh tonnes of edible oils.

Of this, a 2.28 lakh tonnes of edible oil has been shipped. Till Septemeber 22, 2.27 lakh tonnes had already landed in the country and about 1.15 lakh tonnes distributed to various states by central PSUs.

Distribution of subsidised imported edible oils has started in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Sikkim and Nagaland. It is to commence shortly in Delhi, Rajasthan, Karnatka, Uttar Pradesh and Pondicherry.

Edible oil has been contracted by PSUs for distribution upto November/December, 2008.

Due to various measures taken by government augmented by expectations of good kharif crop and fall in international prices, wholesale prices of edible oils have decreased. The wholesale prices of soyabean oil, mustard oil and rbd palmolein have declined by 7.78 per cent, 4.39 per cent and 12.55 per cent respectively between August 22 and September 22.

As on September 24, rice stocks during the kharif marketing season (kms) 2007-08 was at 279.03 lakh tonnes against the overall procurement of 251.07 lakh tonnes in KMS 2006-2007, representing an 11.14 per cent increase over the previous year.

According to the release, wheat stock were projected at 60.04 lakh tonnes as on April 1, 2009 compared to buffer norms of 40 lakh tonnes. Similarly, the rice stock was estimated at 64.52 lakh tonnes as on October 1, against the buffer norm of 52.00 lakh tonnes.

The government released 12 lakh tonnes of non-levy sugar quota for September. It is expected that 4-5 lakh tonnes of non-levy sugar would be sold by sugar factories out of the dismantled first buffer stock of 20 lakh tonnes as well as at least 4.5 lakh tonnes of non-levy sugar from dismantled second buffer stock of 30 lakh tonnes.

The total availability of non-levy sugar this month is expected to be about 20-21 lakh tonnes, sufficient to meet the sugar demand in the festival season.

The government has already released 2.08 lakh tonnes of levy sugar for distribution in the PDS for the month and made advance allocation of 2.27 lakh tonnes of levy sugar for October, including festival quota of 57,000 mts.

UNI SD MP HS1719

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