Edible oils Current Affairs
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved for removal of prohibition on export of all varieties of edible oils except mustard oil. The proposal was forwarded by Ministry of Commerce & Industry. The CCEA has also approved empowering Committee, chaired by Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution to review the export and import policy on all varieties of edible oils.
The empowering committee will consider measures such as quantitative restrictions, prior registration, imposition of Minimum Export Price (MEP) and changes in import duties depending on domestic production and demand, domestic and international prices and international trade volumes. The CCEA has discontinued Inter-Ministerial Committee headed by Commerce Secretary, mandated to review export of edible oils in consumer packs and calibrate MEP from time to time.
Removing of restrictions on export of all edible oils will provide additional marketing avenues for edible oils and oilseeds. It will benefit the farmers by way of better realisation for oilseeds. It will also result in utilization of idle capacity in India’s edible oils industry. It is considered as a step towards Ease of Doing Business by removing confusion arising out of prohibition on export of edible oils and plethora of exemptions.
The production of oilseeds in 2016-17 has seen quantum jump in comparison to past two years. It is expected that production of oilseeds in 2017-18 is going to sustain at same levels. At present, only certain edible oils are allowed be exported in bulk and other oils only in consumer packs with MEP. In order to support growing production of oilseeds and to explore additional avenues for marketing of edible oils, allowing bulk export of all edible oils with the exception of mustard oil which is an item of mass consumption in India was seen required step.