Govt Hikes Import Duty On Crude, Refined Palm Oil

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The import duties on other crude edible oils like soya and sunflower have been raised to 17.5% from 12.5%, according to a notification issued by the Central Board of Excise and Customs.

The government hiked the import duty on crude palm oil to 15 per cent from 7.5 per cent and on refined to 25 per cent from 15 per cent to curb cheaper shipments and boost local prices for supporting domestic farmers and refiners.

Edible oil industry body Solvent Extractors' Association (SEA) welcomed the step, saying the move would help farmers to some extent but wanted duty difference between the crude palm oil and refined palm oil to be 15%t to support domestic processors.

"This is a welcome step to support the farmers. At the same time, the government could have raised the duty difference between crude palm oil and refined palmolein to 12.5-15% to support domestic refiners for value addition," SEA Executive Director B V Mehta told PTI.

He said the decision would help in restricting cheaper imports to protect domestic farmers and processors.

In the first eight months of the current 2016-17 oil marketing year, the import of vegetable oils rose marginally at 98,63,572 tonnes compared to 97,63,043 tonnes. The move is also expected to give a boost to sowing of oil seeds in the ongoing season.

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