India’s Oilseed Sector Seeks Policy Thrust from Government

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Two organizations, the Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) of India and the Indian Vegetable oil Producers’ Association (IVPA) have asked government for fresh policy thrust on increasing oilseeds production and productivity in the country in the forthcoming budget as the country’s edible oil import dependence reached 70%, according to a BusinessLine report on January 17.  
BV Mehta, SEA Executive Director told BusinessLine that the association wants government to give focus on increasing the stagnant production and productivity of oilseeds in the budget.  Among others, SEA also urged the need to operationalize the National Mission on Edible Oils (NMEO) to help curb the gap between domestic demand and production of edible vegetable oils.  It suggested the diversion of some land holdings in Punjab-Haryana region from wheat and rice production cycle to soya, sunflower and maize in kharif and rape-mustard seed in rabi season.
On the other hand, Sudhakar Rao Desai, IVPA President requested the government to categorize the import of refined oil from restricted to prohibited list under the foreign trade policy in view of the refining capacity available in India. He said the Custom Duty on various crude edible oils is charged as tariff value notified by CBIC on a fortnightly basis. However, the same does not apply for crude sunflower oil and custom duty is levied at transaction value. He said the anomaly should be corrected by introducing tariff value for sunflower oil like in other oils.  He likewise requested to reduce the Goods and Service Tax (GST) on biofuel from 12 per cent to 5 percent to encourage usage and production.

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