After much protest from local industry (read: INDIA: Edible oils import duty hike likely), the Indian Government has today (22 November) hiked import duties on edible oils, but replaced the 10% surcharge on crude and edible oils with a nil to 4% special additional duty. This is the third 'hike' since June 1999.

Cheap imports from Malaysia and Indonesia had made life tough for local industry, and the repeated pleas have now brought this half response. Industry reactions are awaited, but are unlikely to be euphoric.

Imports into India, besides attracting basic customs duties and whatever surcharges or additional duties are there on the item, also attract a countervailing duty (CVD). This is the conceptual equivalent of the excise duty which local producers would pay, had the item been locally manufactured. All duties are multipliers, meaning if three steps are 45%, 4% and 15%, then the landed cost would be (CIF Value x1.45 x1.04 x1.15).

By Navroz Havewala