Indore (Madhya Pradesh): The Soybean Processors’ Association of India (SOPA), an apex body of soybean oil extraction units, has urged the central government for a gradual rollback of exemptions given in case of Customs duty on edible oil so that the falling prices of soybean in the domestic market can be checked.
In a letter to Union minister for commerce and industry Piyush Goyal, SOPA chairman Davish Jain has said that, various policy initiatives taken by the Centre in the recent past—including slashing of Customs duty on edible oils—have resulted in 15%-26% decline in both imported and domestic edible oils in the past one month. Nonetheless, the fall in edible oil prices has also contributed to a substantial decline in soybean prices in the domestic market.
Jain further said that the fall in soybean prices has sent a very negative signal to soybean farmers at a peak sowing time for Kharif oilseeds. If the current fall in soybean prices continues further, it may result in shifting some areas under soybean cultivation to other crops and this will stop the momentum built over the past two years in growing more oilseeds, the SOPA chairman said, urging the government to review the existing duty structure on edible oils and announce a gradual rise in Customs duty on edible oils. This will not only be in the interest of the farmers and consumers, but will also fetch additional revenue for the government.