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Trade opposes excise duty on oils, vanaspati

Our Bureau

MUMBAI, Nov. 23

THE Central Organisation for Oil Industry and Trade has opposed the Kelkar Committee's recommendation on imposition of excise duty on edible oils and vanaspati.

In a representation to the Government, the industry's apex body has argued that a fresh fiscal impost such as excise duty would further worsen the industry's plight.

The domestic industry is already facing a serious threat from abundant supplies of cheaper imported oils.

Higher taxes will be to the detriment of oilseed farmers as domestic oils would become expensive, but imported oils will be rendered more attractive, an industry official pointed out. He said that the country's self-sufficiency too would stand eroded further.

Terming tax on food items regressive, the Central Organisation pointed out that developed countries heavily subsidised their agriculture.

In addition, higher cost would drive consumers towards oil in loose form which may have health implications, it is claimed.

The all-India convention of the vegetable oil trade and industry held earlier this month in New Delhi has unanimously opposed imposition of excise duty on edible oils and vanaspati.

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