India reduces agri infra development cess by 2% to reduce import duty of crude palm oil

India’s finance ministry announced a cut in the agri infra development cess to 5 per cent from 7.5 per cent, in order to bring down the effective duty on crude palm oil import to 5.5 per cent from 8.25 per cent.

The government said its decision to reduce the agri-cess on crude palm oil will benefit the domestic edible oil refiners and also check prices of cooking oils.

“After reduction of the agri-cess, the import tax gap between CPO and refined palm oil has increased to 8.25 per cent. The increase in the gap between the CPO and refined palm oil will benefit the domestic refining industry to import Crude Oil for refining,” the ministry added.

The government has also extended the current basic rate of import duty of zero per cent on crude palm oil, crude soyabean oil and crude sunflower oil till September 2022.

The rate of import duty on refined palm oils at 12.5 per cent, and refined soyabean oil and refined sunflower oil at 17.5 per cent will remain in force till September 2022.

“This measure will help in cooling down the prices of edible oils which are witnessing an upward trend in the international market due to lower availability and other international factors,” the ministry said. The country’s total vegetable oil (edible and non-edible oil) imports rose 16 per cent to 12.70 lakh tonnes in January 2022, compared to 10.96 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period, industry body Solvent Extractors’ Association of India reported on Monday.

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