In a bid to protect the interest of farmers and the domestic oil processing industry, the finance ministry has increased import duty on both crude and refined edible oil by 5 percentage points amid falling global prices.
According to 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, a development that is likely to have impact on retail prices.
Earlier, both the ministries of food and agriculture had recommended an increase in import duty of refined edible oil to 15 per cent and 12.5 per cent respectively. On crude edible oil, both the ministries recommended that import duty be increased to 5 per cent from the current 2.5 per cent.
India imports about 60 per cent of the annual domestic demand of vegetable oils — edible and non-edible oil — of about 19 million tonnes. The import rose to an all-time high of 11.82 million tonnes in the 2013-14 marketing year ended October, up 12 per cent, due to an increase in domestic consumption and low rate of cooking oils in global markets.
Industry body Solvent Extractors’ Association has been demanding an increase in the import duty on crude and refined edible oils at 10 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively, in order to protect the domestic oilseeds processors.
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