Solvent industry demands hike in import duty on crude, refined edible oils
To protect farmers' interests and provide a level-playing field to domestic oilseed processors, industry body SEA on Monday sought increase in import duty on crude edible oil from 7.5% to 25% and on refined oil from 15% to 45%. The import duties were last increased in December. In a memorandum submitted to the government on Monday, Solvent Extractor's Association (SEA) said, “We would like to bring to your kind notice the alarming increase in import of edible oils seriously hurting the domestic farmers and the vegetable oil refiners.” The increase in duties will protect the interest of crushers and also local farmers to sustain their interest in oilseed cultivation, the industry body said in a statement. “The industry requested for increase in import duty on crude edible oils from 7.5% to 25% and that of refined oil for 15% to 45%,” it added. According to the SEA data, the imports of edible oils has reached a record level of over 10 million tonnes in the first nine months of the current oil year ending October 2015, as against 8 million tonnes in the year-ago period. Total imports are expected to touch 14 million tonnes valued at Rs 65,000 crore in the entire 2014-15 oil year against last year's import of 11.8 million tonnes, it added. About 60% of India's annual edible oil demand of 18-19 million tonnes is met through import, mostly from Malaysia and Indonesia. According to the government's data, farmers have sown oilseeds in 163.79 lakh hectare till August 14 during the current kharif season that started from June, as against 160.83 lakh hectare in the year-ago period.
August 17, 2015 | 5:42pm IST.