With the edible oil price increasing about 60 per cent in a span of only six months, Odisha government Tuesday accused the Centre of imposing excess taxes leading to the price hike.
The issue was discussed in the assembly when the opposition Congress blamed both the state and the Central government for putting common man in trouble by raising the price of edible oil when people are battling the economic impact of the pandemic.
In reply during a discussion on the admissibility of an adjournment motion on the issue, Odishas Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare minister RP Swain admitted that the price of edible oil has skyrocketed, during the pandemic situation, for which he blamed the Centre.
The Centre, he said, has imposed 5.5 per cent GST, 17.5 per cent agricultural cess and 21 per cent import duty on edible oil.
While the price of a litre of Palmolive oil was Rs 80 in October, it now costs Rs 126 per litre.
Mustard oil price has also increased from Rs 100 to Rs 150 per litre.
The requirement of edible oil for Odisha is 3 million tonne per annum, the minister said.
“The state government has no role in the regulation of the edible oil price as this is the entire lookout of the Centre,” he said.
While 55 per cent of Palmolive oil is imported from Indonesia and Malaysia, mustard oil is procured from Gujarat and Rajasthan, and sunflower oil and soya oil are imported from Canada and the USA.
The hike in the import duty has led to an increase in the price of edible oil, Swain said.
Besides this, mustard oil price was raised because the Centre hiked the MSP of mustard oil seed by Rs 200 a quintal, the minister said.
The state government has taken several measures to check black marketing and adulteration of edible oil in Odisha.
The Opposition Congress, which moved a notice for an adjournment motion on the issue, said that the state government and Central government have no concern for the people.
The common man is suffering due to skyrocketing price of edible oil which is an essential ingredient of daily dishes, said Congress whip Taraprasad Bahinipati.
He was critical over the central governments taxes on edible oil.
The state government should take steps to raise domestic production of edible oil in the state, said Bahinipati.
Production of mustard has been reduced by 50 per cent in Odisha due to lack of patronage from the state government, he said.
BJP Mohan Charan Majhi pointed out that despite remaining in power for 20 consecutive years, the states BJD government has failed to increase production of edible oil seeds in Odisha.
It must take steps for increasing production of edible oil and should intensify action against adulteration, Majhi said.
The BJP leader said the state government cannot escape from the responsibilities just by blaming the Centre on every issue.
Majhi said, the state has failed to implement the central government programmes to increase oil seed production in Odisha.
Government chief whip Pramila Mallick admitted that there has been reduction in the oil seed production in the state.
However, she claimed that the state government has taken several measures to curb black marketing and adulteration of edible oil.