By Nishant Ketu
New Delhi [India], June 30 (ANI): The Central government on Wednesday reduced the duty on Crude Palm Oil (CPO) by 5 per cent in order to bring relief to the consumers, said the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
In addition, to cool down the prices of RBD Palmolein (Refined Palm oil), the Department of Food and Public Distribution has recommended removal of the restriction on import of RBD Palmolein and to put it in the open general category of imports to support its availability at lower prices for the domestic consumer.
According to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, these moves are expected to significantly lower the prices of edible oils for domestic consumers.
"The major edible oils consumed in the country are Mustard, Soyabean, Groundnut, Sunflower Sesame Oil, Niger Seed, Sanflower Seed, Castor and Linseed and Coconut, Palm Oil, Cotton Seed, Rice Bran, Solvent Extracted Oil, Tree and Forest Origin Oil," it said.
According to the data provided by the Department of Food and Public Distribution, the total domestic demand for edible oils in the country is approximately 250 LMT per year.
"Around 60 per cent of the edible oils consumed in the country is met through imports. Palm oils (Crude and Refined) import constitutes around 60 per cent of the total edible oil imported, out of which 54 per cent is imported from Indonesia and Malaysia. As the country has to depend heavily on imports to meet the gap between demand and supply, International prices have an impact on domestic prices of edible oils," read the release.
Food inflation including high prices of edible oils has been a cause of concern and therefore the government has been monitoring their prices and taking steps by way of removing bottlenecks to soften prices.
A mechanism was institutionalized involving nodal offices of the Customs department, FSSAI, Plant Quarantine division to monitor the speedy clearance of food commodities like pulses and Crude Palm Oil (CPO) at shipping ports.
The international prices of crude edible oil and refined palm oil were showing declining trend in prices over the past one month. Still, the prices of domestic refined palm oil and crude edible oil remained high, the ministry said.
The Ministry of Finance has cut duty on CPO to 10 per cent from 15 per cent with effect from June 30, 2021 and this will remain in force upto and inclusive of September 30, 2021.
The reduction will bring down the effective tax rate on CPO to 30.25 per cent from the earlier 35.75 per cent inclusive of additional agri-cess of 17.5 per cent and 10 per cent social welfare cess. This reduction, in turn, will bring down the retail prices of Edible Oils, the release said.
Further, the Department of Commerce has issued a revised import policy for Refined Bleached Deodorized (RBD) Palm Oil and RBD Palmolein by removing both from restricted to free category. This would be effective with immediate effect and for a period upto December 31, 2021.
Officials of the Department of Food and Consumer Affairs clearly said that reduction of duty only till September 2021 is a clear signal to farmers that their interest shall not be compromised.
The official also said that Making India "Atmanirbhar" in edible oils is their cherished goal and the national oilseeds mission is committed to achieving it by aligning policies including foreign trade.
The government will be monitoring the prices on a daily basis expects the industry to pass on full benefits to the consumers. (ANI)