Central government teams have unearthed large hoardings of soyabean and mustard seeds in Madhya Pradesh, Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said Tuesday.
In a statement, the ministry said: “Inspections have revealed very large hoardings of soyabean and mustard seeds in Dewas, Shajapur & Guna districts of Madhya Pradesh. These seeds were much above the stock limit prescribed by the government.”
The ministry said that the hoarding of seeds has pushed up the prices of soyabean oil. The state government has been asked to step in to take necessary action under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, it said.
Besides, large quantities of edible oils have been found in excess of the prescribed quantities of the control order in Maharashtra and Rajasthan, the ministry said, adding that wholesalers and big chain retail outlets were the main violators.
The state governments have been requested to take corrective measures in accordance with the relevant sections of the EC Act, it said.
Amid rising edible oil prices, the Centre sent its teams to eight states — Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Telangana, Gujarat and Delhi. The ministry said that inspections are going on in the last five states.
The state governments of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have also been requested to ensure that the supply chain is not affected while taking action under the EC Act, it said.
Central teams from the Department of Food & Public Distribution have been deputed to conduct surprise inspections of the stocks of edible oils and oilseeds held by retailers, wholesalers, big chain retailers and processors in major oilseed producing and consuming states, the ministry said.
“The Government of India has taken several proactive steps in the last few months to stabilize the prices of edible oils in the country, including declaration of stocks by all stockholders of edible oils and oilseeds under the Essential Commodities Act (EC Act), 1955,” it said.
The ministry added: “Effective enforcement of the EC Act, 1955 by the States is crucial and requires supportive action by the State Governments and other authorities at all levels with the aim of ensuring adequate availability of essential commodities at reasonable prices including edible oils for the common man.”
Observing that prices of cooking oil are on an upwards swing globally, the ministry said: “The domestic prices of edible oils have been following the international suit and the prices have increased considerably over the past one month which may be attributed to the current geopolitical condition.”
Source– THE INDIAN EXPRESS