Soyabean processors press for hike in import duty on edible oil

July 13, 2015 11:31 am Published by

The Soyabean Processors Association of India (SOPA) has pressed for increase in the import duty on crude edible oil to 25 per cent and 30 per cent on refined varieties to check increased imports which could protect the domestic farmers after global prices fell to five-year low.

SOPA in a note to the Finance Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley, said that the spurt in edible oil imports was driven by current low prices of the commodity, which were at a five-year low.

The soyabean industry and trade were concerned at dumping of edible oil of over 11 million tonnes (mt) annually. According to the Association, the increased inflow was severely hurting the domestic producers and farmers, the note said.

The Association forecast that soyabean imports could surge to 3 mt in the 2014-15 oil year, against domestic soya oil production of 1.6 mt.

“India has become a dumping ground for cheap palm and soybaean oil. Even when the government increases duties marginally, the exporting countries reduce their export duties or their prices to offset the duty increase,” the note pointed out.

It may be recalled that the government had increased the Customs duty on crude and refined edible oils by 5 per cent each last December. However, the price of soya oil declined by 18.2 per cent between January and July.

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