KCCI urges govt to give thrust to cashew industry

Isaac Vas (centre), who took charge as president of Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry, addresses reporters at KCCI hall, Mangaluru, on Thursday.

With policies not favouring the cashew industry, many manufacturers are planning to shift their industries to neighbouring states, said Isaac Vas, the new president of Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).

“The Centre should clear the bottlenecks and give a push to the cashew industry,” he stressed, while addressing reporters at the KCCI hall on Thursday.

“The collective processing capacity of cashew industry in the hinterland is about 2.5 lakh MT of raw cashew per annum. But the state grows only 50 to 60 thousand MT of raw cashew nuts per annum. The industry is, therefore, forced to import over two lakh MT of raw cashew from East and West Africa,” he explained.

Vas urged the Centre to help the cashew industry reduce dependence on the African countries by declaring cashew as a plantation crop. “This will help corporates take up the scientific cultivation on leased land,” he stressed.

‘Market fee problematic’

Vas said that the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) had slapped 1.5% market fee on imported raw cashew. “Due to this disputed fee, which is not seen in Kerala, a cashew manufacturer owes over Rs 18 crore. The Customs is treating the entire industry as violators. The government should withdraw the APMC fee and sensitise the Customs department on facilitating the industry’s growth,” he requested.

Isaac Vas, sharing his plans, said, “The KCCI will set up a startup cell to hand-hold and fund entrepreneurs from the district and collaborate with academia. We will also ask the Ministry of Tourism and government to set up a district-level single-window clearance committee to clear all tourism-related projects and promote three annual events like surfing, international kite festival and river festival.”

The KCCI president said that they had held talks on setting up a second truck terminal near the Baikampady Junction.

He also welcomed the privatisation of Mangaluru International Airport and New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT). He said that the airlines were being lured to Kannur International Airport by lucrative offers like tax rebate.

'DK should get a commercial court'

Vas said that a commercial court with jurisdiction for Dakshina Kannada and surroundings districts should be established in Mangaluru. “Presently, litigants are forced to travel to Bengaluru and file cases in sessions courts designated as commercial court,” informed Vas and added that advocate Vivekananda Paniyal had taken up the issue with the Department of Law.

The KCCI also has been recognised as an ‘Alternative Dispute Redressal Centre’, Vas informed.

KCCI Board directors and office bearers were also present on the occasion.

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