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Vanaspati units resume operations

Calcutta, Dec. 6: The vanaspati industry in the east resumed operations today following an assurance from state finance minister Asim Dasgupta on the reintroduction of 20 per cent sales tax on imported products.

All the 12 vanaspati units, including eight in West Bengal, downed shutters on November 23 protesting the adverse impact of Indo-Nepalese trade treaty and lack of protection on part of the state government.

According to Kunal Banerjee, eastern zonal chairman of the Vanaspati Manufacturers’ Association, the sales tax on imported vanaspati will reduce the price difference between the Nepalese and local products.

The Nepalese manufacturers have an edge over their Indian counterparts because they do not have to pay duty for importing crude palm oil (CPO). But Indian vanaspati manufacturers have to pay import duty of Rs 16 per kg on CPO. Vanaspati importers have jacked up prices for a 15-kg tin to Rs 700 from Rs 670.

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