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Hike import duty on palm stearin in line with CPO: Industry body SEA

Domestic players import CPO paying customs duty of 35.75 per cent as well as agricultural cess.

By: PTI | New Delhi |
March 22, 2021 4:52:56 pm
Palm stearin, a by-product of CPO, is used in the food industry for the production of bakery fats like Vanaspati and margarine shortenings. It is also used in the cosmetics and personal care industry. (Representative image, source: Reuters)

Edible oil industry body SEA on Monday urged the government to impose an import duty of 35.75 per cent on Palm stearin in line with crude palm oil (CPO) to protect the domestic palm refining and oleochemicals industry.

Palm stearin, a by-product of CPO, is used in the food industry for the production of bakery fats like Vanaspati and margarine shortenings. It is also used in the cosmetics and personal care industry.

Mumbai-based Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA) President Atul Chaturvedi in a statement said while import of palm stearin and other by-products of CPO are allowed at zero duty, but the domestic players are manufacturing the same products from imported CPO

Domestic players import CPO paying customs duty of 35.75 per cent as well as agricultural cess.

Chaturvedi said this ‘inverted duty structure’ is affecting both the domestic palm refining and oleochemical industry.

“Due to the import of these products at zero duty, our palm oil refining industry is forced to sell its by-products, like Stearin and Palm Fatty Acid Distillate (PFAD) at very low prices, seriously affecting their profitability,” he said.

SEA said it flagged this issue with Union Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey in a recent virtual meeting and demanded the government to impose customs duty on palm stearin to the level of CPO.

“If corrective action is not taken, it has the potential of driving our domestic Oleochemical industry to sickness,” the association said.

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