Govt imposes 10% import duty on tur dal, wheat
The Dollar Business Bureau
The government has imposed a 10% import duty on imports of tur or arhar pulse (pigeon pea) and wheat with immediate effect.
The decision was taken to protect the domestic farmers’ interests after the prices of pulses fell below the minimum support price (MSP) across various pulses producing states. The government expects bumper production of ravi crop, especially pulses and wheat this year on the back of normal monsoon season last year.
This restrictive measure will control a further fall in the wholesale prices of tur dal and wheat and thus provide better MSP to farmers during ongoing procurement drive.
The good production of tur dal during last kharif (summer) season had resulted into a fall in wholesale prices. Since the farmers are expecting bumper production this season, the imposition of import duty will prompt the domestic buyers to purchase pulses from the farmers thereby guaranteeing them a good price for their produce.
This is the first such instance when the government has announced an import duty on tur or arhar dal. The domestic pulses market has been pursuing zero duty on pulses imports since 2006.
Last December, the government had reduced customs duty on wheat to zero from 10% to enhance domestic availability and keep a check on its increasing retail prices.
The domestic wheat production is projected at a record 96.64 million tonnes (MT) in the 2016-17 crop year compared to 92.29 MT in 2015-16.
The production of tur dal is also estimated to reach a record high, as much as 4.23 MT this crop year against 2.56 MT last.
Overall foodgrain production is projected to touch 271.98 MT this year.