New Delhi: The government has scrapped the 20% import duty on crude soyaoil, four months after imposing the tax to prevent the dumping of cheap products from overseas markets.
“It has already been declared... notified to zero duty,” commerce secretary G K Pillai said here today when asked about rolling back the duty on the import of crude soyaoil.
The government had, on 18 November last year, slapped the import levy only on crude soyaoil while leaving the duty structure of other varieties of edible oils unchanged.
As part of the measures to control inflation, the Centre had, on 31 March last year, abolished import duties on crude edible oils and reduced significantly customs duties on refined edible oils at 7.5%.
Expressing disappointment over the decision, Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) Executive Director told PTI, “We are waiting for the notification. However, the decision is surprising because prices of crude soyaoil are still ruling low. The move will upset farmers, who will be deprived of remunerative prices.”
India, the largest buyer of vegetables oils in the world after China, has imported 29.51 lakh tonnes between November 2008 and February this year, compared with 17.61 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period, according to the latest data compiled by Mumbai-based SEA.