To make India self-sufficient in cooking oils, the Union Cabinet is expected to announce a new plan — National Edible Oil Mission-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) on Wednesday, sources told News18. Announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month, this new ecosystem will reduce India’s dependence on imports of cooking oil. The government is planning to invest Rs 11,000 crore in the edible oil ecosystem in the country. “The government will invest more than ₹11,000 crore via the National Mission on oil seeds and Oil Palm to provide farmers everything possible, including better seeds and technology," PM Modi said on Twitter.
It must be mentioned that India depends largely on the imports to meet the domestic oil demand. The country produces 2.4 crore tonnes of edible oil that it consumes annually. It imports the rest from the world to meet the demand — palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia, soyoil from Brazil and Argentina, and sunflower oil, mainly from Russia and Ukraine. Out of the total import, palm oil constitutes about 55 per cent.
At present, palm oil is the world’s most consumed vegetable oil and India is the largest consumer of vegetable oil in the world. The major edible oils consumed in India include mustard, soyabean, groundnut, sunflower sesame oil, niger seed, safflower seed, castor and linseed (primary source) and coconut, palm oil, cottonseed, rice bran, solvent extracted oil, tree and forest origin oil. “When India is emerging as a major exporter of farm goods, we should not depend on imports for our edible oil requirements," Modi said.
The new ecosystem aims to raise the domestic production of palm oil by three times to 11 lakh MT by 2025-26. This plan will help the government to reduce the rising price of domestic edible oil. The prime minister said the government will ensure that farmers get all facilities, from quality seeds to technology to promote farming to produce palm oil and other oil seeds. The new scheme will focus on the north east region and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
In July, the central government reduced the duty charged on crude palm oil. To bring some relief to the consumers amid rising inflation, the Union government cut the duty charges on crude palm oil by 5 per cent. “Ministry of Finance vide Notification No. 34/2021-Customs dated 29th June, 2021 has cut duty on CPO to 10 per cent from 15 per cent w.e.f. 30th June, 2021 and this will remain in force up to and inclusive of the 30th September, 2021," said ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution said in a statement.
“Making India ‘AtmaNirbhar’ in edible oils is our cherished goal and national oilseeds mission is committed to achieving it by aligning policies including foreign trade.The government will be monitoring the prices on a daily basis expects the industry to pass on full benefits to the consumers," the ministry added.