No ban on arecanut, says Union Minister

No ban on arecanut, says Union Minister

Campco delegation appeals minister to appoint Senior Counsel to argue in favour of arecanut growers in SC

No ban on arecanut, says Union Minister

Union Health Minister Dr Harshavardhan has promised the delegation of Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Co-operative (CAMPCO) Limited that the Central government will not ban arecanut and is committed to safeguard the interest of the growers, said CAMPCO President Konkodi Padmanabha.

Addressing a press meet here on Wednesday, he said that the delegation has appealed to the minister to appoint Senior Counsel to argue in favour of the arecanut growers and also withdraw the affidavit in connection with Special Leave Petition of 2007 which stated that arecanut is injurious to health, to which, the minister has responded positively.

“On Yellow Leaf Disease affecting arecanut, we have urged the government to depute senior scientist to study, report and guide on alternate crops in areca garden. The government should also declare special package for the plantations affected with the disease.”

“Arecanut has medicinal values. Hence we requested the Central government to appoint experts to conduct an indepth research on the best utilisation of it. The government should also appoint Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, to test and release the imported arecanut since public health authority at ports are not having enough facilities to carry out the test,” he said.

He said that the delegation had also met Minister for Commerce and Industries Nirmala Seetharaman and has urged Union Government to exclude arecanut from the zero per cent duty for import as it falls under the non essential commodities. Stating that arecanut worth 43.5 billion US dollar is imported during 2012-13, he said that to avoid tax evasion at different locations, implement the GST.

The delegation has also urged the minister to increase the minimum price for import of arecanut. The price was fixed at Rs 110 in May 2013. The government should revise specified tariff value for arecanut to Rs 170 per kg, on the basis of the present cost of cultivation arrived by the Karnataka Agriculture Price Commission.

“Arecanut is imported through the borders of Bangladesh and Nepal by private traders, thereby decreasing the rate of domestic arecanut price. Hence, the borders should be strengthened to check the illegal import,” he said.

Military canteens

The Campco delegation had met Director General of Army to impress upon him to sell Campco chocolates in the Army canteens across the country. Already, the Campco chocolates are available in the eastern command. About 40 tonnes of chocolates are supplied per quarter.

The Union government has also been impressed upon to make arrangement for the availability of Campco chocolates in Airports and Railway Stations.
DH News Service