New Delhi [India], February 12 (ANI): Solvent extractors in India have requested the central government to take steps to safeguard the interests of the domestic oleochemicals industry, citing a sharp rise in their imports.
In a memorandum to Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India recommended that imports of finished products stearic acid, soap noodles, oleic acid and refined glycerine should be placed under the restricted items list or import duty on such finished products should be with an additional duty of 25 per cent over the imported raw material like refined palm stearin.
In another suggestion, they sought to allow duty-free imports of all required raw materials to oleochemical players having splitting, distillation and hydrogenation plants.
“These actions will help our domestic oleochemical industries to thrive and grow. Needless to mention these actions are required on an immediate basis to help realize our Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Make in India’ and making India stand tall on global oleochemicals footprint,” the association said.
Oleochemicals are the chemicals derived from vegetable oils and fats, such as fatty alcohols, fatty additives like stearic acid, oleic additives and soap noodles as well as refined glycerin. Oleochemicals are present in hundreds of daily household items such as soap, laundry detergent and cosmetics.
In the last decade, large investments and capacity expansion were made in this sector in India and the country has high domestic consumption as well as potential to grow further.
According to the industry, the domestic oleochemical industry is facing a severe existential threat due to the increasingly large-scale import of finished products at 5 per cent duty and soap noodles, oleic acid at Nil duty from countries in Southeast Asia — Mainly Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
“There is an urgent need to check such import failing which, may lead to potential sickness of Oleochemical industry in India. This may also have serious implications on employment and skill development of engineers and technicians because the Oleochemical industry employs manpower with technical know-how,” the industry body said in its memorandum. (ANI)
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