New Delhi: Vanaspati manufacturers have welcomed the import duty cut on crude palm oil to 50% but said it would give only a marginal relief as the commodity prices are rising globally.
The import duty should have been brought down to 20% to make the industry competitive, Indian Vanaspati Producers Association (IVPA) president J K Khaitan said.
The government had recently slashed customs duty on crude palm oil, crude palmolein and other fractions of the commodity from 60% to 50%.
The effective duty on the crude palm oil is only 40% as the tariff value has been kept at the July 2006 level, Khaitan said.
“Even at this rate domestic vanaspati industry could not survive. The duty should be 20% on crude palm oil,” Vanaspati Manufacturers’ Association (VMA), executive director S Gurumurthy said.
IVPA executive director I R Mehra said the cut would help the government in controlling inflation but more measures are required to let domestic vanaspati units survive against those in Sri Lanka and Nepal from whom no import duty is charged.
India has free trade agreements with Sri Lanka and Nepal.
“We welcome any duty cut on palm oil as it would help in checking inflation. But for survival of the local industry, the duty should be brought down to the level of 20-25%,” Mehra said.