The Centre on Tuesday said special teams have clamped down on hoarding of oilseeds and edible oils in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and inspection is underway in five other states.
The central teams have been deputed to conduct surprise inspection of stocks of edible oils and oilseeds held by retailers, wholesalers, big chain retailers and processors in major oilseed producing and consuming states. Teams have been sent to Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Telangana, Gujarat and New Delhi.
The food ministry, in a statement said, the central teams have unearthed hoarding of soyabean and mustard seeds in Dewas, Shajapur and Guna districts of Madhya Pradesh. These seeds were much above the stock limit prescribed by the government. Hoarding of seeds have pushed up the prices of soyabean oil, it said, adding the state government has been asked to step in to take necessary action under the Essential Commodities (EC) Act, 1955.
In Maharashtra and Rajasthan too, the Centre said large quantities of edible oils were found in excess of the prescribed quantities of the control order. “Wholesalers and big chain retail outlets were the main violators,” it said, and added that the state governments have been requested to take corrective measures in accordance with the relevant sections of the EC Act.
Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have also been requested to ensure that supply chain is not affected while taking action under the EC Act. Inspection is underway in the remaining five states, the ministry said. The Centre has taken several proactive steps in the last few months to stabilize the prices of edible oils in the country, including mandating declaration of stocks by all stockholders of edible oils and oilseeds under the EC Act.
In order to curb the rising prices on account of hoarding and resultant artificial scarcity of edible oils, the Centre has extended stock limits for all edible oils and oilseeds till December 2022. Prices of cooking oil are on an upward swing globally. Domestic prices of edible oils have been following the international trend and the rates have increased considerably over the past one month which may be attributed to the current geopolitical condition, the statement added.