New Delhi: The prices of edible oil in the country has almost doubled in recent times has made the Centre jittery.

To normalise the edible oil prices, the Centre Monday held a meeting of all the stake holders.

First of its kind meeting, held to discuss ways and means to address the issue of abnormal price increase of edible oil, was attended by food secretary, agriculture secretary, consumer affairs secretary, producers of edible oil seeds, millers. stockists, wholesalers, various associations of the edible oil industry sector, senior officials of States like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The meeting was convened by union department of food & public distribution.

Speaking on the occasion, food secretary Sudhansu Pandey said that it was important to understand the issues that are contributing to price rise and discuss the same with all the stake holders so that appropriate strategies can be formulated to address the issue of edible oil prices

It may be noted that production and domestic availability of oilseeds in India is falls way short of needs of domestic demand of edible oil. A big volume of edible oil is imported each year. Changes in International prices of edible oil make an impact on domestic Indian price of edible oil.

The need to hold the meeting was also felt because Centre got concerned about more than proportionate rise in the prices of edible oil in India as compared with the rise in international prices of edible oil during the last few months.

Secretary food & public distribution said that mission “Atmanirbhar Bharat” requires country to be self-sufficient in edible oils. Dependency of almost 60% on imports is not appropriate to the growth of edible oil industry in India. There is a need to strike a balance between short term measures to keep check and long-term measure of keeping India AtmaNirbhar in edible oil production”

In the meeting it was felt that there was indeed a need to strike a balance between measures to keep high prices in check and measures to make India AtmaNirbhar in the area of edible oil production.

Secretary said that all the States and stake holders from the side of business must take all possible steps to soften the prices.

He added that suggestions presented in the meeting would help in arriving at wholesome solutions to address the issue in stability of edible oil prices and domestic growth oil seeds sector.

He said the Centre is making efforts to ensure availability of edible oils at reasonable prices.