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FinMin at IBLA: 'Lesson learnt' on exports; moving towards 'atmanirbharta' on oilseeds

economy | Apr 1, 2022 8:31 PM IST

FinMin at IBLA: 'Lesson learnt' on exports; moving towards 'atmanirbharta' on oilseeds

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Speaking at the 17th CNBCTV-18 IBLA, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said India will not sit back on exports and will move towards 'atmanirbharta' when it comes to oilseeds. 

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at CNBC-TV18's India Business Leader Awards on Friday said India will not sit back and instead, will move towards 'atmanirbharta' when it comes to oilseeds.

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Sitharaman said it was the businesses, not her, making the commercial decisions. "Look at the way businesses have made the decisions now to prove that exports will not sit back and watch the situation, we will get going, we will be exporting," she said.
She said exports were happening in a big way, "otherwise we wouldn’t have reached the export target 20 or 10 days before the deadline date".
The Finance Minister said the government was moving ahead in 'atmanirbharta' in oilseeds. "We have learnt our lessons on pulses and oil seeds," she said, adding that many other procurement arrangements are underway for oilseeds.
On March 29 a report said India has contracted 45,000 tonnes of Russian sunflower oil at a record high price. The report from Reuters said shipments will happen in April.
From an average of Rs 98 per litre across brands in mid-February 2019, the price of sunflower oil  surged to between Rs 180 and 250 per litre, depending on the brand in question. Edible oil prices surged 70 percent year-on-year and about 20-30 percent month-on-month since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war.
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Atul Chaturvedi, president at Solvent Extractors Association, had earlier told CNBC-TV that India consumes roughly about 200,000 tonne of sunflower oil every month.  Consumption of sunflower oil in Indian households has been seeing a significant fall due to its soaring prices.
Talking about climate change, the Finance Minister said it is an issue which you will have to be conscious of. "There has been a clear intention of the government, a commitment made by the government and in the interest of the Indian people, we have to move from fossil fuel into renewable energy," she said.
Sitharaman said the government is also looking at improving on hydel capacity, bringing in nuclear energy and so on. "However, at this time when the transition was to happen many countries like us planned for moving over to using natural gas and then moving over to renewable energy like solar, wind and so on. However the transition arrangement which you want to do with natural gas is now facing a challenge -- that the supplies are lesser, the cost is spiking up and so how are we going to have natural gas as a substitute? Are we then going to have to fall back on coal again?," she said.
Sitharaman said it is not just India, but many countries have started realigning their priorities inspite of feeling the heat of the climate change issues. "So these are issues which are on our mind," she added.
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