The clamour to raise import duty on edible oils may be bearing fruit: the government seems to have decided on a 10% increase.

just-food.com has twice reported that the government is considering a duty hike. The industry is suffering a deep recession, and pure commodity players (rather than brand players like Levers) are hampered by cheap imports and a good local crop. Finally, however, it appears that sponsored news items and the activities of industry leaders such as Paramsivam, the head of Tamilnadu Oi Seeds and Seeds Association, are having an impact.

Exaggerated demands for a "100%" duty to "check the free flow" are unlikely to hold water. The government, however now seems to have a consensus in favour of a small increase in customs duty from 33% to 43%, and an announcement is imminent.

By Navroz Havewala