Edible oil industry cautions govt on imports

“At the current rate of increase in imports, India may have to import close to 15 million tonnes of vegetable oils annually, in the next five to sevenyears,” the Central Organisation for Oil Industry and Trade (COOIT) said in its pre-budget memorandum.

Dependancy will increase
The industry body warned that such high imports will make the country heavily dependent on exporting countries, which can dictate their own terms and prices in future.

It said imports of vegetable oils has increased by about 86 per cent to 46.83 lakh tonnes during November-May period in 2008-09 oil year from 25.22 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period. Pointing out that zero customs duty on crude edible oil is responsible for the high volume of import, COOIT has sought imposition of 30 per cent duty on all crude edible oils and 40 per cent on refined oils. At present, zero duty is levied on crude edible oil and 7.5 per cent on refined edible oil.

Further, it said that the government can generate a revenue of Rs 7,500 crore at the current level of imports, if 30 per cent duty on crude and 40 per cent duty on refined edible oils are imposed. COOIT also sought revision of tariff value, which has remained unchanged for almost three years, in accordance with the current market prices. Further, it said the Technology Mission on Oilseeds should be revived without delay and this Mission can be

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