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Will removal of import duty on edible oil provide relief to consumers?

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Will removal of import duty on edible oil provide relief to consumers?

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The government has exempted customs duty and agriculture infrastructure development cess on the annual import of 20 lakh metric tonnes of cooking oil like crude soyabean and sunflower oil

Will removal of import duty on edible oil provide relief to consumers?
In a bid to rein on inflation and insulate consumers from rising prices, the Centre has exempted customs duty and agriculture infrastructure development cess on the annual import of 20 lakh metric tonnes of cooking oil like crude soyabean and sunflower oil, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs said on Twitter, adding that the move will provide significant relief to the consumers.
The order will come into effect from today and cease to apply after March 31, 2024.
“It’s a welcome move and the prices may reduce in the range of Rs 3 to Rs 5 per litre,” The Times of India quoted V Mehta, executive director of Solvent Extractors Association, as saying. Mehta hoped the government would also do away with the cess and duty on palm oil, which comprises about 40 percent of the country’s edible oil consumption.
As a result of high inflation, top FMCG players such as Britannia, Hindustan Unilever, Nestle and Coke have already raised prices of products in the range of 3-10 percent.
The government had earlier done away with the basic import tax on crude palm oil, crude soyoil and crude sunflower oil. However, one of the world's biggest vegetable oil importers continues to levy 5 percent Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) on the three grades of edible oils.
Over two-thirds of the country’s edible oil requirements are imported from other countries, Mint reported. While India imports soya and sunflower oil from Argentina, Brazil, Ukraine and Russia, it sources palm oil mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia.
Prices started rising following a significant drop in supplies of sunflower oil from warn-torn Black Sea region since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war. Lower supplies further stoked local prices.
In the past one year, the average retail price of soyabean oil has gone up 11.6 percent to Rs 171 a litre.  The price of sunflower oil have also risen above 11 percent to Rs 192 a litre. Average prices of palm oil and vanaspati have gone up 19 percent and 28 percent, respectively, during the year, The Times of India reported.
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