Maharashtra CM seeks rise in import duty of edible oil

Fadnavis said in his letter, higher import duty will give relief to farmers and also an extra excise duty of Rs 8,000 cr to state.

Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday sought the Centre's intervention to hike import duty on edible oil to provide relief to oil seeds producing farmers in the state.

According to Fadnavis, high import duty will discourage imports of oil. Fadnavis has written to Union Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and sought an increase in import duty of edible oil.

Fadnavis suggested that the import duty on raw edible oil be increased up to 35 per cent and on refined oil by 50 per cent, a release issued by the Chief Minister's office said.

The import duty was variable since the last many years. In 2000, duty on palm crude oil was 16 per cent while it was 75 per cent in 2001.

During 2000 to 2013, the import duty was in between the range of 2.5 per cent to 65 per cent however from 2015 it did not go beyond 12.5 per cent.

Due to less import duty, farmers may have to suffer loss whereas higher duty will give them relief and the state would get additional Rs 8,000 crore excise duty as well, Fadnavis said in his letter.

Additionally, the state may save Rs 2,000-3000 crore by purchasing oil seeds at lower minimum support price (MSP), he said.

He also added that hike in import duty would not affect the consumer at all but will give relief to farmers.

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