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NEW DELHI : The government on Wednesday slashed import duty on edible oils to provide relief to consumers from the surge in global price of the commodity.

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) in two separates orders slashed the basic customs duty and the agriculture and infrastructure development cess on specific edible oils.

The basic customs duty on crude palm oil, crude soya-bean oil and crude sunflower seed oil has been reduced from 2.5% to naught. Crude palm oil also benefits from a sharp cut in agriculture cess from 20% to 7.5%. Agriculture cess on both crude soya-bean oil and crude sunflower oil has been reduced from 20% to 5%. All the changes are effective from Thursday till the end of March 2022, showed the orders.

Also, the basic customs duty on edible grade soyabean oil, edible grade sunflower oil, refined bleached deodorized (RBD) palm oil, RBD palmolein, RBD palm stearin and any palm oil other than crude palm oil has been reduced from 32.5% to 17.5%.

The move comes after the government on Sunday imposed stock limits on edible oils and oilseeds till end of March to prevent hoarding and to soften prices. The government had also suspended futures trading on mustard oil and oilseeds on the National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX) with effect from 8 October.

High prices of edible oil in international market have a substantial impact on domestic prices. Consumer price index-based inflation of oils and fat had surged 34.19% year-on-year in September, as per information available from the statistics ministry. Overall food inflation based on consumer food price index in September was at 0.68% on a high base of 10.68% in the year-ago period.

Rationalising import duty is a part of the government’s key strategy to check edible oil prices. The government is currently operating a centrally sponsored scheme called National Mission on Edible Oils-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) to increase domestic production of edible oils and to reduce imports dependency. Malaysia and Indonesia are major sources of edible oil imports for India. 


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