Edible Oil Imports from Nepal, Bangladesh Harming Revenues:SEA

Mumbai, Oct 22 (PTI) The influx of edible oil from Nepal and Bangladesh every month is resulting in huge revenue loss of Rs 50 crore to the government and harming the interest of the oilseeds farmers, an industry body alleged on Tuesday.

"Goods imported from five least developed the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries are fully exempted from the customs duty. Taking advantage of this imports of palm and soyabean oils have begun from Nepal and Bangladesh in substantial quantities. Nepal has no production of palm oil soyabean and crushes a very small soyabean quantity," the Solvent Extractors' Association (SEA) president Atul Chaturvedi said in a release here.

He said the palm oil is routed from Indonesia or Malaysia and the soyabean oil from South America.

SEA urged the government to take strong action against to ensure that zero duty edible does not come into the country.

Meanwhile, vegetable oil imports fell by 13 per cent to 13.03 lakh tonnes in September from the same month last year, due to large carry-over stock and imposition of safeguard duty on palm oil originating from Malaysia, according to SEA data.

However, the overall imports of vegetable oils during November 2018 to September 2019 went up by 3 per cent to 14.17 million tonnes, the SEA had said in a statement.

During November 2018 to September 2019, SEA said imports of refined oil (RBD palmolein) increased to 26,12,394 tonnes from 19,98,813 tonnes in the same period of last year, due to lower duty on palmolein imported from Malaysia.

This resulted in lower imports of crude oil which stood at 109,69,087 tonnes from 113,43,273 tonnes during the same period of last year, reducing capacity utilization of domestic industry.

During November 2018-September 2019, palm oil imports has increased to 86,30,680 tonnes from 79,47,472 tonnes during the same period of last year, due to higher import of RBD palmolein.

During the period under consideration, soft oils import decreased to 49,50,801 tonnes from 53,94,614 tonnes.

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