Govt. mulls withdrawal of import duty on used cooking oil

Imported fried oil is used in making bio-diesel. It is cheaper than petroleum diesel by Rs.3-4 per litre, and withdrawal of import duty will bring down its price down further by Rs.6-7 per litre, says Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari The Dollar Business Bureau

Govt mulls withdrawal of import duty on used cooking oil In August last year, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas had allowed marketing of high-speed diesel blended with bio-diesel from select retail outlets in New Delhi, Vishakhapatnam, Haldia and Vijayawada

    In order to promote the use of bio-diesel and check pollution, the government is mulling withdrawal of import duties on used cooking oil, which is used as cheap fuel for transportation. “I have requested the Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to withdraw duties on import of fried oil which is often discarded as waste after being used once and is available in abundance across the world,” said the Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari, at an event in New Delhi on Wednesday. The minister said that imported fried oil will help in making bio-diesel. The cost of bio-diesel is about Rs.3-4 per litre cheaper than petroleum diesel, and withdrawal of import duty will bring down the fuel price further by Rs.6-7 per litre, he said, addressing a global summit on ‘Smart Cities-Smart India’ organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM). The government has been making efforts to promote the use of bio-diesel in the country. In August last year, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas had launched the commercial sale of bio-diesel and allowed marketing of high-speed diesel (HSD) blended with bio-diesel from select retail outlets in New Delhi, Vishakhapatnam, Haldia and Vijayawada. Terming the launch of bio-diesel B5 (diesel blended with 5% non-edible oil extracted from palm stearin) a path-breaking step in India’s retail sector, the government had also announced plans for expansion of the same to all parts of the country based on the availability of the fuel. According to the government, railways, defence and state road transport undertakings can directly procure bio-diesel and blend it with diesel as per their needs. A spokesperson from the Association of Oil and Gas Operators (AOGO), while speaking to The Dollar Business recently, said, “Import replacement can go to the extent the technology accepts the blend.” Experts, however, are concerned over the impact on the fertility of land, in case of indiscriminate usage. “Taxation also remains to be the key issue in case of several state governments that implement double tax on bio-diesel or keep the value-added tax (VAT) neutral,” an official from the Bio-Diesel Association of India (BDAI) had told The Dollar Business earlier. Increasing the use of bio-diesel seems to be a major step for the government amid the pressure to reduce the country’s dependency on imported fuel.

February 11, 2016 | 03:50pm IST

The Dollar Business Bureau - Feb 11, 2016 12:00 IST
 
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