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Increase in import duty on vanaspati is of no help: Industry

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 1 (UNI) The increase in import duty on vanaspati from 30 to 80 per cent in the Budget 2006-07 is of no avail for the domestic industry as the commodity import is being allowed at zero duty from Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, with whom India has free trade agreements, industry bodies said.

All India Vansapati Industries, a Group of Edible Oil associations, said the duty-free vanaspati from Sri Lanka has resulted into closure of more than 120 of the country's total 260 units 'rendering thousnads workers jobless and adversely affecting the farmers too'.

The remaining units too operating are on 20 per cent capacity and virtually on the verge of closure, Industry's representative S P Kamran said here today.

Currently, he said, 2.5 lakh tonne of vanaspati is coming from Sri Lanka and one lakh tone from Nepal on zero duty while Indian market is around 10 lakh tonnes.

The duty differential on palm oil imports- 80 per cent for Indian industry and zero duty for importers in Sri Lanka and Nepal has already put the domestic units at disadvantages. Further, the vanspati import from Sri Lanka does not meet 35 per cent valu addition norm, a condition precedent for preferential duty treatment, Mr Kamaran added.


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