While presenting Budget 2014-15, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday exempted rice bran from import duty to help domestic processing units.

Taking advantage of this amendment the government has decided to import rice bran from its neighbouring including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar which earlier was 15%

Rice bran oil is considered the healthiest edible oil available in India.The Indian edible oil processing sector has capacity to produce 1.4 million tonnes (mt) of rice bran a year; of this, only 65 per cent is used, owing to lower availability of rice bran from local sources.

If we talk in figures India produced about 800,000 tonnes of rice bran every year, adding it was the second-largest producer of rice, after China. Of the output, only 300,000 tonnes are used as edible oil, while the rest is used by the vanaspati segment, or blended with other oils and sold as branded products.

And, the 15 per cent duty discouraged the import of bran so  B V Mehta, executive director, Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) urged the government to exempt rice bran from import duty.The import duty exemption on rice bran will raise oil availability from domestic sources, albeit marginally.

Solvent Extractors’ Association’s president Vijay Data, said that they should be allowed to import oil cakes and rice bran at nil duty as this would provide raw material to the solvent extraction segment and the oil meals produced would meet the requirement of the feed sector.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley,also exempted the import duty from e-oiled soya extract, groundnut oil cake/oil cake meal, sunflower oilcake/oil cake meal, canola oil cake/oil cake meal, mustard oil cake/oil cakemeal, rice bran/rice bran oil cake and palm kernel cake 

Rice bran oil is rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids and has a higher cholesterol reducing power than other poly-unsaturated fatty acid () rich oils due to the presence of oryzanol.

Rice bran oil produced from the bran of paddy extracted through the physical refining process contains natural vitamin E, which is an antioxidant and helps improve neurological functioning.

Due to its high antioxidant content, rice bran oil fights free radicals that harm the immune system. Regarded as one of the world’s healthiest oils, the  commodity is recommended by many leading cardiologists, diabetologists, nutritionists and health advisors the world over.