President of the association K Paramasivam told a media conference that, while crude palm oil is refined domestically, a portion of stearin, a fat content with high melting point, is not fully removed. Palm oil containing stearin is offered for sale in the domestic market. This oil is not good for health as it has side effects.
He said the partially refined palm oil is mixed with soya oil and rice bran oil and sold in the market at a less price than the premium palmolene.
This affected the genuine traders and the consumers alike, he said.
There is a 10% difference in duty on imported refined palmolene and the crude palm oil.
The duty difference is retained to support the domestic oil refineries that operate in the small and medium sectors.
Tamil Nadu needs about 4.5 lakh tonnes of edible oils. Of this, only 1.5 lakh tonnes is locally produced and three lakh tonnes are imported. Over 80% of this is palm oil.