Centre cuts custom duties on edible oils to ease retail prices

By Livemint, Vivek Punj
The fresh round of tax cut could bring down the retail prices of edible oil by ₹4-5 per litre.

The central government has reduced base custom duties on palm oil, soybean oil and sunflower oil to bring down elevated edible oil prices, according to the Finance Ministry.

The ministry stated in a notification issued late on Friday that the base import tax on crude palm oil has been reduced to 2.5 per cent from 10 per cent, while the tax on crude soyoil and crude sunflower oil has been reduced to 2.5 per cent from 7.5 per cent. The notification came into effect from Saturday.

With the reduction, the effective duty on crude palm oil, crude soyoil and crude sunflower oil will come down to 24.75 per cent whereas effective duty on refined palm oil, soyoil and sunflower oil will be 35.75 per cent, news agency PTI quoted Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEA) executive director B V Mehta.

The fresh round of cut could bring down the retail prices by 4-5 per litre, he said, adding it is also generally seen that prices harden in international market after India reduces its import duty so the real impact could be 2-3 per litre only. The government should have reduced import duty on mustard oil as well to cool prices, Mehta further added.

In the last few months, the Centre has cut import duty on various edible oils and asked states to take details of stock of edible oils and oilseeds from wholesalers, millers, refiners and stockists. It has also announced a 11,040 crore-palm oil mission.

According to industry body Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEA), total import of vegetable oils (edible and non-edible oil) during November 2020 to July 2021 fell by 2 per cent to 96,54,636 tonnes, compared to 98,25,433 tonnes in the corresponding period of the previous oil year (November-October).

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIC) last month had halved the basic customs duty on crude soyoil and sunflower oil to 7.5 per cent to boost supply. Edible oil is India’s third-largest imported commodity after crude oil and gold.

(With PTI inputs)


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