Rajya Sabha member and Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel has asked Union Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley to increase import duty on crude and refined edible oils to ensure that our farmers don’t suffer from fall in prices of oilseds.
In a letter despatched few days ago, Patel said that over 10 lakh farmers depended on oil seed cultivation and this massive surge in imports had amplified their distress in a drought year. Patel said that the prices of oilseeds had come down by 20 per cent consequent to imports.
“While the government has championed the `Make in India’ campaign, its own import policies have made India a dumping ground for vegetable oils and this has jeopardised the livelihood of our farmers”, said Patel in the letter.
“Given that the past many months showed a progressive rise in imports, it is surprising that the government maintained the import duty on crude edible oil at 7.5 per cent only”, the Congress leader pointed out.
Patel demanded to increase import duty on edible oil and also announce a policy to incentivise domestic production.