1. Agriculture World

Agri Ministry Asked to Prepare Zero Edible Oil Import Plan to Make India Self-sufficient in Oil Production

KJ Staff
KJ Staff

Agriculture ministry was asked by the Commerce Ministry to prepare a road map for India so that it can achieve self-sufficiency in edible oil production. Earlier this week, at an inter-ministerial meeting, Minister, Piyush Goyal discussed the need for a "zero edible oil import" plan.

To import about 15 MT edible oil, India spends over Rs 70,000 crore to meet its annual requirement of 25 MT, which makes it the biggest buyer of the cooking medium.

A senior commerce ministry official who was present at the meeting told media that "The aim is to help farmers and local industry, apart from reducing the current account deficit".

To recall, Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the budget 2019, had also desired farmers to make India self-sufficient in edible oil production.

The official said that the Group of Secretaries (GoS) was already constituted by the government for launching a nationwide oil seed mission to minimise the oil imports. It will be moved out soon. Officials also told that the government may charge a 2 to 10% cess on import of crude and refined edible oil to fund the mission.

The official also informed that “Earlier, a fund of Rs 10,000 crore was raised to support this mission for five years. But, now, they (GoS) are looking at raising it through levying cess on industry". The industry, however, desire the government to set aside a collection from the income it earns from the duty on crude and refined edible oil imports.

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