The Union government on Wednesday asked edible oil manufacturers to cut the maximum retail price of imported cooking oil by up to Rs 10 per litre within one week, PTI reported.

Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey held a meeting with associations of edible oil manufacturers to discuss falling global prices of edible oil.

“We made a detailed presentation and told them that global prices have declined by 10 percent in last one week alone,” he said. “This should be passed on to consumers. We have asked them to reduce the maximum retail price.”

Pandey said that manufacturers agreed to reduce prices by up to Rs 10 for imported edible oils such as palm oil and sunflower oil. He said that once these rates reduce, the prices of other cooking oils will also come down.

India depends heavily on imports for its edible oil requirements, and imports fulfill over two-thirds of the country’s total demand, according to Reuters.

Pandey also asked manufacturers to charge a uniform maximum retail price for the same brand of cooking oil across the country.

“At present, there is Rs 3-5 per litre difference in MRP of same brands sold in different zones,” he said. “When transportation and other costs are already factored in the MRP, there should not be difference in MRP.”

As per data from the Union Department of Consumer Affairs’ price monitoring division, the average retail price of palm oil in India on Thursday is Rs 144.16 per kilogram. The average price of mustard oil is Rs 177.37 per kilogram, while the prices of soyabean and groundnut oil are Rs 185.77 per kilogram and Rs 187.93 per kilogram respectively.

In May, India’s retail inflation had come down to 7.04% in May from 7.79% in April on account of softening prices of food. The inflation level for oils and fats was among the highest in the food items category, at 13.26%.