The commerce ministry suggested agriculture ministry to prepare a roadmap to attain self-sufficiency in edible oil production for India at an inter-ministerial meeting. It aims to help farmers and local industries, apart from reducing the current account deficit.
♦ The Ministers discussed the need for a zero edible oil import plan for the country.
♦ India spends over Rs.70,000 crore on importing about 15 MT edible oil to meet its annual requirement of 25 MT, making it one of the biggest buyers of the cooking medium.
♦ The government is taking serious steps for India to attain self-sufficiency in edible oil production.
♦ The government also constituted a Group of Secretaries (GOS) to launch a nationwide oil seed mission to minimize oil imports. The mission is expected to be rolled out soon.
♦ The government may levy a 2-10% cess on import of crude and refined edible oil to fund the mission. Earlier, the government provided a fund of Rs.10,000 crore to support this mission for five years. Currently, GOS is planning to raise ♦ it through levying cess on the industry.