NEW DELHI, Sept 14 Asia Pulse - Vanaspati (vegetable ghee) and vegetableoils industry on Monday demanded immediate change in import regime for"crude" palm oils (CPO) saying that a massive 95 per cent of the importswere being subjected to a 10 per cent higher customs tariff after beingcategorised as "refined".
The situation has arisen due to the stiff norms being fixed for'carotenoid', a colour providing and nutrition enhancing pigment, in CPO.
"To be eligible for 65 per cent import duty, CPO must have a minimum 500parts per million (ppm) of carotenoid, which is next to impossible. Somost of the consignments are subjected to 75 per cent duty, same as thatfor refined palm oils", Convenor, All India Vegetable Oil IndustryCoordination Committee, O P Goenka said here.
He said vanaspati manufacturers and refiners had to pay a higher duty tothe tune of around Rs 2,000 a tonne, just because CPO was subjected to theimport tariff for Refined, Bleached and Deodorised Palm Oil.
As a result the costs incurred in importing a cargo of 5,000 tonnes of CPOwere higher by around Rs 10-15 million, traders added.
They said the carotenoid value came down significantly as handling of CPOinvolved heating upto 55 degrees and it reached Indian ports only about 60days after extraction from oil palm plants.
In August last year, government had fixed the carotenoid limit when toevade duty, RBD palmolein was being imported as crude palmolein with minoradditions. It also fixed a minimum level of 1 per cent free fatty acids(FFA) in the oil.