Agri Business

Lockdown prompts edible oil trade to seek relaxations for movement, sourcing

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on April 01, 2020 Published on April 01, 2020

SEA writes to Union government seeking unrestricted movement of packed and raw edible oils

For smooth flow of essential commodities during the lockdown period, the edible oil industry has suggested relaxations in customs rules and allowing unrestricted inter-state movement of packed and raw edible oils to the government.

During a video conference with the Union Government officials, the edible oil trade body, Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) has suggested that imported crude edible oil vessels should be cleared immediately on a simple undertaking from importers that it would be sold only after refining. The Customs department should give the Out of Charge forthwith after this. And for the testing of import samples, it has suggested that NABL-accredited laboratories at Kandla/Mundra can be utilised to expedite the process.

Kandla and Mundra ports handle nearly 30-40 per cent of import of edible oils in India. These are refined at the Kandla/Mundra refineries and then dispatched across the country by tanker lorries in bulk or in small packages. “To maintain the supply chain, it is necessary that such transportation be granted National permit for multi State transport by issuing the E-pass,” SEA Chairman Atul Chaturvedi stated in his suggestions.

Domestic crushing units are operating with 40-50 per cent capacity. The demand has shifted to household consumption (small packs), hence the supply of raw material/packaging material need to be ensured.

He also suggested that inter-state movement of raw and in-packed oils should be allowed unrestricted. “It is important that State border check posts should be adequately sensitised to allow passage of edible oil lorries / tankers without harassment. Empty returning lorries should also be allowed to pass unhindered,” he said adding, “We would also suggest banning sales of loose edible oils to consumers to ensure safety in these difficult times.”

The edible oil body has also suggested the Centre to exempt oilseeds crushing and processing units from procuring raw material from the APMCs (mandis) and allow purchase directly from farmers. Currently, all mandis are closed leading to shortage of raw materials for crushing mills.

Published on April 01, 2020

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