The Soybean Processors of India (SOPA) has written to the Centre seeking quantitative restrictions on import of edible oils, in addition to raising the customs duty on soybean and sunflower crude oils. “The restriction is also necessary because raising of import duties has only been able to check incremental imports. The reduction can only be made by applying quantitative restrictions and capping seasonal unwarranted imports,” DN Pathak, executive director of SOPA, said.
The association had sought concessions from the Centre last month and is reiterating its demand, Pathak said.
According to Pathak, the National Mission on Edible Oils has a specific target of reducing edible oil imports by 3 million tonne. The mission said reducing per capita edible oil consumption from 19 kg per person per annum to 15 kg per person per annum will reduce 3 million tonne of edible oil requirement. The target can be achieved through health awareness campaigns, he said.
In advocating free imports of edible oils, other trade bodies have completely missed the point that without restriction, unnecessary imports will continue unbridled, Pathak pointed out.