New Delhi,22 May:The government said that country’s edible oil imports this year will not be less than last year’s level, if not more, in view of increased demand, and ruled out any price control to curb inflation.
Speaking on the sidelines of a function organised by Assocham on Thursday, Consumer Affairs Secretary Yashwant Bhave said edible oil imports will not be less than what was bought from abroad last year.
He noted that demand-supply mismatch in oilseeds led to imports of around 5 million tons of edible oils last year, out of the total consumption of about 12 million tons.
The increase in imports is despite projection of higher production of oilseeds in 2007-08 at 28.21 million tons against 24.29 million tons in the preceding year.
When asked about the possibility of price control mechanism to check the difference between wholesale and retail rates of food articles, Bhave said "there is no question of price control (government fixing the price)…It is difficult to fix prices at retail level."
He said only competition would be able to drive down the prices."Except competition, there is no other mechanism to control prices."Bhave also suggested increase in food production would reduce the demand-supply gap, thereby cooling off the prices.
The Consumer Affairs Secretary hoped that inflation, which has reached 7.83 per cent level, would be moderated in next 2-3 months.
He also said the Centre’s decision to supply pulses through public distribution system has not found response from states.
"Though it was decided to supply pulses through PDS, states are not eager to take imported pulses, which largely comprise of yellow peas," he said. Courtsey: DD NEWS