The country’s edible oils import bill surged 75 per cent to Rs 1,04,354 crore during the first nine months (April-December 2021) of the current fiscal from Rs 59,543 crore in the year-ago period, a processors association said on Wednesday.
According to Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA) Chairman Davish Jain, during the first nine months (April-December 2020) of the last fiscal, India had imported edible oil worth Rs 59,543 crore.
Expressing concern over the rapid pace of import of edible oil, Jain said, “Our dependency on imports are helping edible oils exporting countries and their oilseeds growers getting premium prices. We are making them prosperous as India continues to be the single largest importer of edible oils in the world”.
Jain suggested that edible oils should be imported at a high tariff to balance the demand and supply. Also, the duty collected should be spent on developing the domestic oilseed sector rather than cross-subsidising other crops.
India fulfils 60 per cent of its domestic requirement of edible oil through imports.
To make the country self-reliant in terms of edible oil and reduce dependency on imports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a national mission for it.
Under the mission, a necessary environment will be developed in the country for raising domestic production of edible oil and palm oil by investing more than Rs 11,000 crore.