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Posted: Wednesday, March 05 2008. 15:40

Olive Body wants Lower Duties

The recently formed India Olive Association has started lobbying with the government to appreciate the health effects of olive oil and reduce import duty to help grow the market, says a Press Release.

The Association has pleaded with the government to abolish import duty on Olive Oil so that its prices become competitive and make it more accessible to a larger number of consumers. Following are typical prices of olive oil at various duty rates, as given by the Association:

  • 1 ltr. of extra virgin olive oil @ 45% import duty = Rs.720
  • 1 ltr. of extra virgin olive oil @ 16% import duty = Rs.600
  • 1 ltr. of extra virgin olive oil @ 0% import duty   = Rs.520

India's entire requirement of Olive Oil is met by imports with no domestic production of Olive Oil in the country, hence no domestic producers that need protection. Being an expensive item, Olive Oil does not compete with other oils in common use. No other domestic product exists, with similar health benefits that could be adversely affected by duty reduction.

Numerous studies on the use of Olive oil as a cooking medium have proved that Olive Oil lowers bad cholesterol and can actually increase the level of good cholesterol and high density lipoproteins. Olive oil is considered the healthiest cooking medium in the world providing incomparable protection against cardio-vascular disease.

Due to the high rate of import duty levied on various types of olive oil, consumption of olive oil is currently restricted to high-end consumers as the average consumer finds it too expensive.

The rates of import duty levied on olive oil in India are 45% on Virgin Olive Oil and 40% each on Refined Olive Oil and Olive Pomace Oil. A comparison of duty rates in India and some other countries shows that non-Olive Oil producing countries levy much lower rates, e.g. Taiwan and South Korea 8%, Even China charges 10% under MFN status.

of the olive oil market shows that the target audience for olive oil is the 35 million affluent, health conscious Indians of the Upper and Upper Middle Classes.

The IOA was established this year to promote, protect and safeguard the interests of the olive and olive oil industry in India and includes olive and olive oil producers, growers, distributors, importers, users and consumers as members.

Mr V N Dalmia and Mr Riyad Oomerbhoy are the first President and Vice President of the Association. Ambassadors in India of olive producing countries are Patrons according to the Press Release.

The edible olive oil industry in India is growing at an impressive rate of 90 percent and is projected to grow at 150 percent by the year 2010.

       

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