Indian Olive Association welcomes duty reduction

April 3rd, 2008 - 4:50 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 3 (IANS) The Indian Olive Association has welcomed the sharp reduction in import duties on the product, saying it would bring down prices by 15 percent and make the product available to a larger number of consumers. “We are gratified that the importance of olive oil is being recognised and that our efforts are bearing fruit soon after the launch of our association,” association president V.N. Dalmia said in a statement.

The Indian government earlier this week reduced the customs duty on all grades of olive oil to 7.5 percent from the previous 45 percent on virgin olive oil and 40 percent each on refined olive oil and olive pomace oil.

The association had submitted a representation to the government before the budget for fiscal 2008-09 was presented in February seeking the total abolition of customs tariffs on olive oil imports.

The association cited olive oil’s numerous health benefits and the absence of a domestic market for the product in India in support of its demand.

“Previously, olive oil was always overlooked and, due to the high rate of import duty, its consumption was restricted to high-end consumers as the average consumer found it too expensive,” said Dalmia.

“Olive oil is not the rich man’s food, it is the healthy man’s food. With price reduction, consumption will increase and there will be a significant improvement in national health,” he said.

The olive oil market in India is expanding rapidly. In 2007, India imported 23,000 tonnes of olive oil. It is estimated that India will import 42,000 tonnes in 2012, implying a compounded annual growth rate of approximately 80 percent.

Indian Olive Association is the national apex association of olive and olive oil producers, growers, distributors, importers, users and consumers. It was registered in July 2007.

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