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SOPA Urges Govt to Roll Back Customs Duty Cut on Edible Oils

17 Sep 2021 6:57 pm
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INDORE, Sept 17 (Commoditiescontrol) - Apparently concerned over frequent reduction in customs duty on edible oils by the central government, the Soybean Processors Association of India has urged the government to roll back customs duties on the edible oils to the level of June 2021 after the end of the current festive season in the interest of soybean farmers.

In a letter to the Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce, Government of India, SOPA chairman, Dr Davish Jain said that while reduction in customs duty has been aimed at reigning in rising edible oil prices but the benefits of reduction in customs duty hardly reaches to the consumers as every time India reduced customs duty, exporting countries hike export duty on edible oils, thereby negating the benefits of duty reduction in India.

"The prices of edibles oils should be looked at in a holistic manner, keeping in mind the interest of the farmers’’, the SOPA chairman said adding that the Prime Minister’s call for self-sufficiency in edible oils through the National Mission on Edible Oils, would be achieved only when oilseeds farmers get good price and are protected from cheap oil imports.

Pointing to recent reductions in customs duty, the SOPA chairman in his letter further said the government has reduced customs duty on edible oils twice in the last three months, to keep the prices in check during the festival season. Moreover, the tariff value on which duty is levied has not been revised to reflect the actual price of imported oils.

As a result, the applicable import duty on soybean oil which was Rs. 40,612 per ton on June 18, 2021 had dropped to Rs 22,475 on September 11, a reduction of Rs 18,137 per tonne. Similarly, on Crude Palm Oil, the duty which was Rs 25,618 is now reduced to Rs 18,333 per tonne, a reduction of Rs 7,285 per tonne.

The letter further said that the first cut in customs duty was effective up to September 30, 2021, keeping in mind the harvesting of kharif oilseed crops in October, thereby substantially increasing the edible oil supply. However, in its latest cut on customs duty, the government has not mentioned an end-date for reduced duty. Dr Jain said reduction in customs duty will unlikely be beneficial for the consumers as ``Every time India reduced customs duty, the exporting countries and suppliers promptly increase export taxes and prices, thereby negating the effect of duty reduction in India. In the process, the consumers get little benefit, the government loses revenue and the farmers are discouraged, as they get less for their produce’’, the SOPA chairman added.

(By Commoditiescontrol Bureau)

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