ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by V P GulatiSubscribe to V P Gulati

Edible Oil Policy From Default towards Design

S J Phansalkar V P Gulati An attempt has been made here to identify various interest groups on the edible oil sector on one hand and issues of broad policy interest on the other Owing to excessive emphasis on norms for minimum availability of vegetable oils to consumers, the edible oil policy which has till recently been an amorphous medley of ad hoc administrative measures, has tilted more in favour of consumers and the vanaspati industry. This has happened on account of the existence of imports of oil as a soft option. The domestic production of oilseeds has consequently suffered on account of depressed prices. Production increases have occurred largely, because of shift of lands in favour of oilseeds crops, causing the possibility of creation of fodder deficits for dairying on one hand and neglect of overall balance in land use pattern on the other A Conceptual Framework WITH a record production of 17.5 million MT of oilseeds in 1988-89, India may finally have begun the journey towards self-reliance in edible oils. Edible oils as a commodity group accounts for a total consumer expenditure of Rs 10,000 crore per annum, next only to cereals and milk. Till recently, edible oils sector had to be supported by imports of about Rs 800 crore per annum, while through its exports it contributed about Rs 300 crore to the economy. Thus the sector was a net foreign exchange loser. This picture changed at least for the year 1988- 89. The total policy package administered by the GOI and the State governments in the edible oil sector relates to; policies on agricultural research, policies on oilseeds prices, regulation of oil production, stocks, quality and movement, regulation of different processing segments of the edible oil industry, packaging of oil, manufacture of vanaspati, imports of edible oil and public distribution system. An attempt is made in this paper to summarise the policy contents and provide its critique.

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