Govt hikes import duty on edible oil by 5%
In a move to protect the oil seeds growers and provide level-playing filed to vegetable oil producers, the government has increased the import duty on edible oil by 5%. The duty on crude edible oil has been increased from 7.5% to 12.5% and on refined edible oil from 15% to 20%, the Central Board of Excise and Customs said in a notification issued on Friday. The oil processing industry says the move was necessary to protect domestic producers. According to the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), vegetable oil import is expected to reach 14 million tonnes worth $10 billion during the current oil year ending October 2015. Last year, the country’s total import of edible oil was 11.6 million tonnes. “India is being used as a dumping ground for excessive supply of edible oils in the world market. (The) Country’s dependence on imported oil has further increased to nearly 70%, an alarming situation for the country’s food security,” SEA has said earlier while demanding a hike in import duty on edible oil. The industry body had asked for an increase in the import duty on crude edible oil up to 25% and refined edible oil up to 45%. During November 2014-July 2015, the import of vegetable oils crossed 10 million tonnes, up 26% from 8.1 million tonnes during the same period of previous year.
September 19, 2015 | 5:22pm IST.