- 2 million metric tons of duty-free imports per year will be applicable for two fiscal years
- These discounts will help reduce domestic prices and control inflation
To reduce local prices, the government on Tuesday canceled tariffs on imports of 2 million metric tonnes of crude soybean oil and crude sunflower oil per annum and the development of agricultural infrastructure.
According to a Finance Ministry notification, for crude soybean oil and crude sunflower oil, 20 lakh metric tonnes of duty-free imports will be applicable for the two fiscal years 2022-23 and 2023-24. This means that by March 31, 2024, a total of 8 million metric tons of crude soybean oil and crude sunflower oil could be imported duty-free.
These discounts will help reduce domestic prices and control inflation. “This will give customers significant relief,” CBIC tweeted.
The price of soybean oil is expected to come down by Rs 3 per liter, said VV Mehta, executive director, Solvent Extractors of India (SEA).
The government has issued tariff notifications for crude soybeans and sunflower oil at a rate of 2 million tonnes each. Under the TRQ, a tariff of 5.5 per cent and agricultural infrastructure development benefits will be removed, Mehta said.
To curb rising prices last week, the government reduced excise duties on petrol and diesel and waived import duties on some raw materials used in the steel and plastics industries. Besides, export duty on iron ore and iron gram has been increased.
Rising prices of all items, from fuel to vegetables and cooking oil, pushed WPI or wholesale inflation to a record high of 15.08 percent in April and retail inflation to an eight-year high of 7.79 percent.
High inflation earlier this month prompted the Reserve Bank to hold an unscheduled meeting to raise the benchmark interest rate by 40 basis points to 4.40 percent.
Asked about the potential impact on retail prices, Mehta told PTI that soybean oil prices are expected to fall by Rs 3 per liter.
Mehta added that the country could import 3.5 million tonnes of crude soybean oil and about 16-18 million tonnes of crude sunflower oil this fiscal. He added that the association had demanded reduction of import duty on rice bran oil and canola oil as well as increase domestic supply and control retail prices.
“We urge the government to take a quick decision on this demand,” he said.
Read more: The government has imposed restrictions on sugar exports since June 1
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