Last week, the government lifted a ban on the importation of edible oils as a measure to mitigate rising prices of cooking oil in the country.
The government had banned the importation of edible oils earlier in the year with a view to promoting the local industry but some local producers took advantage of the situation and increased prices, forcing the government to lift the ban.
Minister of Agriculture Given Lubinda said the imports, which have only been allowed to stabilize the cost of edible oils on the domestic market would be facilitated from this month until January next year.
“The stakeholders agreed that it is important to stabilize the sky-rocketing oil prices and in view of this, authority shall be granted for the importation of 1,000 tons of edible oils per month for three months from November 2015 to January 2016,” the Zambian minister said in a statement issued a meeting of stakeholders involving government departments, edible oil processors and importers.
He said import permits will strictly be issued to registered importers while unregistered ones have been directed to get the consent from his ministry.
Retailers have also been advised to ensure that they purchased their edible oils from importers with valid import permits, he added.
According to him, strict control measures have been put in place to ensure that importers adhered to procedural obligations so that the import policy is not abused. Enditem