The country’s leading edible oil producers, including Adani Wilmar, Ruchi Soya, Emami, Bunge, Gemini and Gokul Agro, have cut their maximum retail price (MRP) for edible oils by 10-15 per cent, the Solvent Extractors Association of India (SOE) SEA) said.
The SEA statement said the cut in MRP came after a proposal to its members to fix the realistic prices consumers need to pay and disseminate information to ensure retailers are not shying away from “naive” customers.
The SEA asked its members to cut MSP after the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and General Distribution Sudhanshu Pandey held a meeting of industry leaders a few days ago. During the meeting, he urged the leaders to respond “positively” to reducing import duties announced by the center.
The SEA said the exorbitant rise in edible oil prices over the past few months in light of the surge in global prices had “disturbed” consumers and policy makers, leading the center to ask producers to fix realistic prices.
“We hope the new year will bring happier news to our customers with expectations of a large domestic mustard crop along with declining international values in the coming months,” added SEA.
Last week, SEA President Atul Chaturvedi quoted Pandey as saying the MRPs mentioned in consumer packaging did not fit in with recent cuts in edible oil import duties. He said many consumers were paying MRP despite the lower issue price to manufacturers.
Chaturvedi asked manufacturers to ensure that consumers were not deceived by retailers because the government was alarmed by the rising prices of edible oil.
This is the second time that edible oil manufacturers have lowered MRP. Before Diwali, many edible oil companies cut MRP by $5-20 per kg.
With edible oils rising to new heights in the domestic market mainly due to rising international prices due to low production and supply problems, the center has initiated various measures to control prices as part of its efforts to curb inflation.
Last week, the center reduced the basic customs duties on refined palm oil and RBD palmolein to 12.5 percent from 17.5 percent until next March, in addition to allowing the import of these oils without any quantitative restrictions until December 31, 2022.
On October 13 this year, the government lowered tariffs on raw edible oils to zero and lowered the agricultural infrastructure tax and development tax on all oils to lower prices.
The center also cut import duties in June this year to control edible oil prices.