NEW DELHI, Jan 17 (Reuters) - India has slapped a 2.5 percent import duty on crude edible oils, Information Minister Manish Tiwari said on Thursday, a move taken to stem overseas purchases by the world's top vegetable oil buyer and protect its domestic oilseed growers.
India's farmers had been calling for action against cheap palm oil imports after Malaysia, the world's No. 2 palm oil producer, removed export duty on its crude variant from Jan. 1.
The duty on the refined varieties of palm oil will remain unchanged, Tiwari told reporters after a meeting of the federal cabinet on economic affairs.
On Thursday, domestic edible oil futures rose on market talk that India could raise duties, but government sources said at that time the issue was not so far on Thursday's cabinet agenda.
(Reporting by Manoj Kumar; Editing by Jo Winterbottom)