SOPA seeks rollback of customs duty exemption on edible oils

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Jun 28, 2022
Falling edible oil prices have dragged down soyabean prices in the domestic market (file image)

Falling edible oil prices have dragged down soyabean prices in the domestic market (file image) | Photo Credit: KAMAL NARANG

Trade body fears drop in soyabean prices may hit oilseed’s kharif sowing

The Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA) has urged the Union government to gradually roll back the exemption of customs duty on edible oils to stem falling domestic prices of soyabean.

In a letter to Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, SOPA Chairman Davish Jain said recent policy initiatives, including slashing of customs duty on edible oils, have caused a 15-26 per cent decline in the prices of both imported and domestic edible oils in the past month. The fall in edible oil prices has also contributed to a substantial drop in soyabean prices in the domestic market.

Jain further wrote that the fall in soyabean prices sends a negative signal to farmers at the peak sowing time for kharif oilseeds. If the fall in prices continues, some growing areas may shift to other crops and this will break the momentum built over the last two years in oilseed production, he said, urging the government to gradually increase customs duty on edible oils to both benefit the growers and augment government revenue.

Meanwhile, sowing of soyabean has been sluggish, covering 31.68 lakh hectares countrywide as on June 17. This could largely be due to the sluggish monsoon this year.

The latest figure released by SOPA indicates that soyabean has been planted in about 26.4 per cent of last year’s coverage at 119.99 lakh ha. In Madhya Pradesh, soyabean has been planted in 9.53 lakh ha, while in Maharashtra it is 17.55 lakh, and in Rajasthan 1.97 lakh ha.

Published on June 28, 2022
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