Tarin warns ghee and edible oil producers to chop costs

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ISLAMABAD: Federal Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin warned manufacturers on Monday to rationalize domestic ghee / edible oil prices in line with the easing of international vegetable oil markets.

Tarin said so during a meeting with a delegation from Pakistan’s Vanaspati Manufacturers Association (PVMA) in his office, according to an official statement from the Treasury Department. Tarin made it clear to PVMA officials that the government would take comprehensive action, including flooding the market with imported edible fats, if domestic market prices were not cut.

There was a heated discussion about the price range and government circles stressed that the prices of ghee / edible oil with and without brand names in the domestic market for various branded products must be reduced to around 270-300 rupees / kg. The PVMA representatives argued that prices are linked to the international market, as palm oil is mainly imported from Malaysia, so it is not up to them to lower prices alone.

The price of good quality branded cooking oil currently ranges from Rs330 / kg to Rs400 / kg in the domestic market. According to an official statement, the PVMA chairman briefed the finance minister on the rise in international prices for palm and soybean oil, particularly in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

International prices fluctuated in the range of $ 1,100 to $ 1,257 per ton, and domestic market prices were based on prevailing world market prices and dollar value, the PVMA official said, adding that the exchange rate had a significant impact on local cooking oil prices. During the inventory, the Minister of Finance instructed PVMA to find solutions in line with the market and to set prices in line with international trends.

“If there are slight drops in the international market, this must be reflected in domestic prices, so that consumers are relieved in the face of the strongly fluctuating edible oil market,” said Tarin. The finance minister emphasized the need to assess the entire situation rationally and called on the PVMA to develop a sustainable pricing mechanism in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Production and the Federal Ministry of Finance (FBR).

Tarin instructed the chairman of the FBR to ensure that the importers of vegetable oils received the refunds in a timely manner in order to ensure the availability of the funds. He also formed a committee consisting of representatives from PVMA, the Secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Production and the Chairman of the FBR to work out a regulation to streamline sales tax collection and a predictable pricing formula. The PVMA chairman assured the finance minister of his full cooperation in order to provide maximum relief to domestic consumers by cushioning international price pressure. Federal Minister for Industry and Production Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, SAPM for Finance and Income Dr. Waqar Masood, Secretary M / o Industry and Manufacturing, Chairman FBR and other senior officials attended the meeting. –