Our Bureau

Mumbai, March 1

The Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEAI) has complimented the Finance Minister for maintaining status quo for duty structure to support the domestic edible oil prices and, thereby farmers of rapeseed-mustard, during the current harvesting season.

In a release issued by the association on the Budget,

Mr A.R. Sharma, President, SEAI,

said, "We compliment the Finance Minister for raising customs duty on imports of vanaspati from 30 per cent to 80 per cent. This will check the flow of imports from Malaysia and Indonesia.

Lanka imports

However, import of vanaspati from Sri Lanka would continue at zero per cent duty, seriously affecting the working of the domestic vanaspati industry."

The Government should have addressed this burning issue by putting some measures to regulate the inflow of vanaspati from Sri Lanka and Nepal at zero per cent duty, he said.

By-products

It is unfortunate that Notification No. 115/75 CE dated April 30, 1975, which exempted goods manufactured by oil mills; solvent extraction and rice mills from excise duty is withdrawn. By-products of solvent extraction industry such as fatty acid and wax will now attract 16 per cent excise duty. This will have a serious impact on refining of rice bran oil in particular, as this oil has highest quantity of by-products he said.

Meanwhile,

Mr Sandeep Bajoria, President, the

Central Organisation for Oil Industry and Trade

(COOIT), has welcomed the increase in import duty on vanaspati under OGL, which was a long pending demand.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 2, 2006)
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