Arun Jaitley-led panel reviews edible oil availability

Currently import duty on refined palm oils is 15 per cent, while that on crude palm oil is 7.5 per cent.

New Delhi: An inter-ministerial panel headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on July 27 reviewed edible oil availability in the country and discussed ways to deal with rising imports, sources said.

Although no decision was taken by the inter-ministerial group (IMG), sources said, a cabinet secretary-led panel comprising secretaries from the ministries of finance, commerce, food and consumer affairs, will meet to chalk out the strategy on how to manage the edible oil prices.

Apart from Jaitley, the IMG meeting was attended by Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and Principal Secretary to PMO Nripendra Mishra and secretaries to various government departments.

"No decision was taken today. The cabinet secretary-led panel will first chalk out a strategy and then the IMG will meet again to take a decision," said a source, who did not wish to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

India is the largest importer of edible oil in the world, with inward shipments rising by an average 12 per cent a year. It is the third largest imported commodity after crude and gold. The country is expected to import 14.3-14.5 million tonnes of edible oils in November 2016 to October 2017 year.

India is world's biggest palm and soybean oil importer, relying on inward shipments for 70 per cent of the needs. Earlier this month, the farm ministry has proposed 25 per cent import duty on refined palm oil and 10 per cent on crude palm oil, the source said.

Currently, the import duty on refined palm oils is 15 per cent, while that on crude palm oil is 7.5 per cent. Imports of refined edible soft oils and crude edible soft oils attract 20 per cent and 12.5 per cent duties, respectively.

Next Story