Edible oils prices likely to drop: NVGPA

KATHMANDU: The price of edible and vegetable oils will drop from next month as the government has reduced taxes on consumer items. Edible oil price will drop by Rs 3-4 per litre, said Bikas Dugar, president of Nepal Vegetable Ghee Producers’ Association (NVGPA).

Minister for Finance Surendra Pandey halved the customs duty and value-added tax (VAT) on edible

oil and vegetable ghee on February 1 after a series of talk

with NVGPA. Now, edible oil

and vegetable ghee mills

will have to pay 2.5 per cent custom duty instead of the earlier 5 per cent on import of raw materials. The ministry has reduced VAT on edible oil and vegetable ghee by 50 per cent.

The ministerial decision has mentioned that these changes will be implemented as per the ‘process of Department of Custom (DoC) and Inland Revenue Department (IRD)’ and subject to cabinet approval. As per existing Nepali financial laws, changes in customs duty and tax rates must be approved by the cabinet.

NVGPA is eagerly waiting the implementation of the decision, Dugar said adding that the procedure should be sorted out soon. “MoF should forward the decision to concerned agencies for implementation,” he said. However, till Friday the decision had not reached the Ministry Commerce and Supply (MoCS), the

central agency which monitors demand and supply. “I have heard about it but MoCS does not have official information,” a high-ranking officer of the ministry said.

Around 18 vegetable ghee mills are operating in Nepal

and they produce around 4,00,000 metric tonnes (MT) vegetable ghee per annum. Nepal consumes nearly

70,000 MT vegetable ghee while over 3,00,000 MT is exported to India. Nepali vegetable ghee mills suffered heavy losses last year when India waived customs duty on import of raw materials for vegetable ghee. “We have a big challenge to compete with Indian edible oils and vegetable ghee,” said Dugar.