The reduction in the duty may bring down domestic prices and help consumers and domestic refiners cushion the blow from surging food costs.
The Centre has exempted customs duty and agriculture cess on yearly import of 20 lakh metric tonnes of crude soybean and sunflower oil till March 2024, a government notification stated on Tuesday.
The reduction in the duty, known as the Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC), may bring down domestic prices and help consumers and domestic refiners cushion the blow from surging food costs.
The duty-free import of 20 lakh MT per year will be applicable for two financial year (2022-23, 2023-24) for crude soybean oil and crude sunflower oil, the finance ministry said in a notification.
The exemption will help cool domestic prices and control inflation.
“This will provide significant relief to the consumers,” the CBIC tweeted.
Last week to control spiralling prices, the government had cut excise duty on petrol and diesel and also waived import duty on some raw materials used in steel and plastic industry. Besides, export duty was hiked on iron ore and iron pellets.
A rise in price across all items from fuel to vegetables and cooking oil pushed WPI or wholesale price inflation to a record high of 15.08 per cent in April and retail inflation to a near eight-year high of 7.79 per cent.
High inflation prompted the Reserve Bank to hold an unscheduled meeting to raise the benchmark interest rate by 40 basis points to 4.40 per cent earlier this month.
(With inputs from PTI)