The government has extended concessional import duties on edible oils such as palm, soybean and sunflower and the duty waiver for lentils by a year, until March 31 2024.
The duty reliefs for edible oils were first introduced in July 2021, in the wake of a spike in domestic prices. In September 2022, these concessions were extended by six months to March 31, 2023.
At present, crude palm, soybean and sunflower oils imports attract only the 5% agri infra cess and a 10% education cess upon it, meaning a total tax incidence of 5.5%.
Also Read: Edible oils import up 34pc to 15.29 lakh tonne in Nov; crude palm oil shipment at record high
India imports around 56% of its annual edible oil consumption; in FY22, it had imported edible oil valued at Rs 1.5 trillion.
Annual imports of edible oil is around 13 million tonne (mt), mostly palm oil (8 mt), soybean (2.7 mt) and sunflower (2 mt). While palm oil is imported mostly from Malaysia and Indonesia, soybean and sunflower oils are imported mostly from Argentina and Ukraine.
Also Read: India’s edible oil import bill up 34 pc at Rs 1.57 lakh cr: SEA
Palm oil prices rose sharply globally when Indonesia, the biggest exporter of oil, had imposed a ban on palm oil exports on April 28, which was lifted after three weeks. Since then, palm oil prices have declined. The edible oil and fat category saw a negative inflation at 0.13% in November 2022, mostly contributed by decline in domestic prices of edible oil since May. According to estimates, the country imports around 15% of annual pulses consumption. Around 2 mt of pulses were imported in FY22, out of which 0.6 mt of lentils are imported.