31/03/2008 (The Hindu), New Delhi - The Government has abolished import duty on soya oil and palm oil, as part of efforts to contain runaway inflation that has risen to a 13-month high of 6.68 per cent.
The decision was taken at a three-hour-long meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Prices chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his official residence here.
The Government, on March 20, had reduced import duty on crude palm oil, including crude palmolein, from 45 per cent to 20 per cent and refined palm oil, including RBD Palmolein, from 52.5 per cent to 27.5 per cent. The existing duty on soya oil is 40 per cent.
The meeting was convened to discuss measures to combat inflation, to rein in which the Government's Left allies today gave the administration two weeks.
Earlier in the day, the Congress, which heads the multi-party UPA government, decided to ask the Government to ban futures trading in more farm items to keep prices under check. Futures trading is already banned on staple commodities like rice, wheat and pulses - urad and tur.
AICC Media Department Chairman M Veerappa Moily said that inflation was a global phenomena and cited China's example where the general price line grew by 8.7 per cent for February this year -- its highest in the last 12 years, with the country witnessing a "staggering" rise in pork and vegetable prices.