In a bid to cool down domestic prices of soya meal, the government has brought it under the ambit of Essential Commodities Act and also imposed a stock limit till June 30, 2022.
Under the Soya Meal Stock Control Order, 2021, issued with immediate effect from December 23, the stock limit has been set in consultation with the Central Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, wherein plant/miller/processors are allowed a maximum stock of 90 days production. They would also have to declare storage locations.
"For trading companies/traders/private chaupals, only government registered enterprises, a maximum stock of 160 MT with a defined and declared storage location is allowed," said a release from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
In case the stocks held by respective legal entities are higher than the prescribed limits, that will be needed to be declared on the designated portal (http://evegoils.nic.in/soya_meal_Stock/login) maintained by the Department of Food and Public Distribution and bring it to the prescribed stock limits within 30 days of the issue of the notification, the release said.
The government wants to ensure that soya meal stock is regularly declared and updated on the above portal and announced that the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying will regularly monitor the same and, if needed, can take follow-up action.
"The above measures are expected to stop any unfair practises (like hoarding, black marketing, etc.) in the market having the potential to hike the prices of soya meal. Consequently the market price of soyabean oil will cool down," the release claimed.
Meanwhile, the government also notified an order under the Essential Commodities Act to declare soya meal as an essential commodity up to June 30, 2022, by amending the Schedule of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
"The decision would empower the Union government and all states/UTs to regulate production, distribution etc. of soya meal and to smoothen the sale and availability of this item in the market. It will stop unfair market practises and enhance the availability for consumers like poultry farms and cattle feed manufacturers," the release added.
Earlier this week, the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had banned futures and options trading for various agriculture commodities that also included soya bean, for a period of one year in an apparent move to curb inflation.
Soybean meal is the by-product of the extraction of soybean oil. According to media reports, soya bean farmers and poultry farmers were at loggerheads over import of soya meal. While the farmers protested continuation of imports as it has suppressed domestic prices by almost 40 per cent, the Poultry Breeders' Association had wanted an extension to the import deadline.