‘Apply uniform import duties to all crude edible oils’

The Government of India has been requested to impose a standard import charge on all crude edible oils the Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) of India. Ajay Jhunjhunwala, president of SEA, stated in a monthly letter to association members on Friday that the association sent a representation to the government in its pre-budget memorandum covering numerous issues pertaining to and affecting the industry and trade. One of the proposals was to charge a single import duty on all crude edible oils.

He said that crude palm oil (CPO), crude soyabean oil, and crude sunflower oil are currently exempt from basic customs tax (BCD) and are instead liable to 35 percent BCD on crude rice bran oil and crude pomace olive oil. “We want that the government treat all crude edible oils equally and impose the same import charge on them at all times. As a result, the industry will be able to import crude edible oils, which will satisfy market demand and the needs of all consumers, according to him.

He emphasized the requirement for regulation of the import of refined edible oils and noted that the import of refined palm oil is increasing quickly. In the oil year 2021–2022, it rose from 6.90 lt in the preceding oil year 2020–2021 to nearly 18 lakh tonnes (lt). CPO is subject to a higher export tax than RBD palmolein the Indonesian government. As a result, RBD palmolein exporters from Indonesia benefit from a $60 per tonne price advantage over CPO. He said that the association had urged the government to raise the tax on RBD palmolein to 20% in order to generate a duty differential of at least 15%.

Regarding the National Mission on Edible Oils (NMEO), he stated that it is urgently necessary to launch the NMEO with sufficient financial support in order to increase the production of oilseeds and increase the availability of edible oils in order to lessen the nation’s dependence on the import of edible oils. India currently imports 140 lt of edible oils worth more than one lakh crore. He claimed that in order to decrease India’s dependence on imported edible oils from its current level of 65 percent to 30-40 percent of consumption by 2026, the NMEO needs to be executed with an annual investment of 25,000 crores for the following five years.

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