Trade body warns against zero-duty palm oil imports

Don't allow zero-duty palm oil imports from Nepal: Trade body

Edible oils trade body SEA on Monday urged the government not to allow import of palm oils at zero duty from Nepal under the SAFTA pact, saying it will affect the domestic refining industry.

The Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA) has made a representation in this regard to Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal.

According to the SEA, "There are media reports that Nepal is putting pressure to allow export of RBD palmolein from Nepal under the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) agreement at zero duty".

"The product which Nepal exports flouts the rules of origin and value additional with impunity and should not be allowed under any circumstances," SEA President Atul Chaturvedia said in the representation.

Such imports if allowed will affect India's revenue collection, domestic refining industry as well as the interest of oilseeds farmers, he added.

Nepal exported 33,944 tonnes of soyaoil and 1,56,101 tonnes of palm oils during April-November of 2019-20 fiscal, as per the SEA data.

Recently, the government banned import of RBD palmolien and palm oils to protect the domestic refining industry.