SOPA urges govt not to cut import duty on palm oil under trade pacts

Soybean Processors Association of India has requested the government not to cut import duty on crude and refined palm oils to comply with trade pacts signed with Southeast Asian countries.
“We have taken up the matter with the government (commerce ministry) to find ways so that the duty on palm oil is not reduced keeping in view farmers interest,” a release from the association quoted its Executive Director D.N. Pathak as saying.
India may soon cut import duties on palm oils to comply with a trade agreement with Association of Southeast Asian Nations. By December, the government would have to revise import duty on crude palm oils to 40% and refined palm oils to 50%, a cut of 400-basis-point each from current levels, to comply with the rate cap for India’s import under the trade pact.
There are concerns that the duty on refined palm oils may have to cut even further to 45% under a separate trade pact with Malaysia.
The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India has also requested the government not to lower the duty as imports of cheaper palm oils will hit the industry, Executive Director B.V. Mehta told Cogencis today.
India is the world’s largest importer of palm oil, while ASEAN members Indonesia and Malaysia are the leading producers.