Customs Duty on the import of rice bran and rice bran oil cake was scraped by the Union Government of India through notification in the month of August 2013. The customs duty on import of rice bran and rice bran oil cake will be exempted completely with effect from 1 October 2013, against the present customs duty of 15 percent.
This will help in promotion of import of rice bran from neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan. It is expected that an estimate of 50000 to 1 lakh tonnes of rice bran can now be imported from the neighbouring countries.
Rice bran oil is extracted from the bran by making use of the solvent extraction method. Bran is primarily is the brown layer on the rice grain. It has 10-25 percent of oil content. After this oil is extracted, the rice bran oil cake is then used in the form of cattle feed.
It is important to note that at present, importing rice bran was an absolutely unviable option because of high customs duty. Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEAI) had therefore urged the Union Government of India to bring down the customs duty on rice bran in order to make its import more attractive. The domestic demand for this oil is rising considerably in India.
The rice bran oil production of India is estimated to be somewhere around 9 lakh tonnes per year. Out of this, around 3 lakh tonnes is used directly as edible oil. The rest of it, i.e., 6 lakh tonnes is used for blending with other kinds of edible oils as well as in vanaspati. Rice bran oil is considered as an affordable and healthy cooking medium.
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