INDIA - Indore based Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA) has welcomed the hike in Import duty on edible oils, both crude and refined by five per cent.
In a notification issued by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), the customs duty on crude oil has been hiked to 7.5 per cent from 2.5 per cent and while that on refined edible oil has been raised to 15 per cent from 10 per cent.
Commenting on the Import duty hike Dr Davish Jain, chairman of SOPA said that the government has at least partially acceded to our request for increasing customs duty to check the unabated ever increasing imports of edible oils.
SOPA has also requested to create an Oilseed Development Fund by collecting additional $47 per tonne on imported oils, to be used for increasing oilseed productivity and production for augmenting availability of oilseeds and edible oils.
The association had asked the government to raise the duty to 17.5 per cent on crude and 25 per cent on refined edible oils.
Jain said that even this small increase of 5 per cent will help the local soybean processors and exporters and hoped the government will revisit the import duty in the near future.
Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEAI) President Pravin Lunkad too welcomed the government decision to partially raise import duty on raw oil from 2.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent and refined oil from 10 per cent to 15 per cent, as against the industry's demand for 10 per cent on raw oil and 25 per cent on refined oil.
Jain said that export incentives and interest subvention on export of soybean meal are under active consideration by the government at the highest level and SOPA is hopeful of a positive outcome.
India is the world's biggest vegetable oil importer and meets nearly 60 per cent of its 18-19 million tonnes of annual demand from overseas, mostly in the form of palm oil from top producers Indonesia and Malaysia.