Govt imposes 10% import duty on wheat, pulses

Govt imposes 10% import duty on wheat, pulses
The government on Tuesday imposed 10% import duty on wheat and tur (arhar) dal to bolster prices for farmers and avoid any adverse impact on sowing of pulses in the next kharif season. The move will check falling prices of the two commodities at the mandis (trade hub) and subsequently at the retail level, because of a bumper crop.

This is the first time in recent history that tur dal has attracted an import duty due to a record production. In the crop year 2016-17 (July-June), tur output stood at 2.56 million tonnes. It is estimated to be 4.23 million tonnes next year. The next season for pulses sowing will begin in July.  The government had on December 8 reduced import duty on wheat to zero from 10% because of the rising prices at the retail level and sufficient buffer stock.

“A notification dated March 17, 2012, has further been amended so as to impose basic customs duty of 10% on wheat and tur, with immediate effect,” Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal said in the Lok Sabha. He said the estimated revenue implication of this decision is about Rs 840 crore at the current levels of import.

The price of tur dal in the domestic market stood at Rs 5,050 per quintal while it was imported at Rs 10,140 per quintal. While the government’s push for bonuses and good minimum support price for pulses has resulted in good output, there have been issues on their procurement in adequate quantity. On Monday, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had in the Lok Sabha raised the issue of expensive import of pulses.

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