Govt imposes a minimum import price of Rs.500/kg on pepper
The Dollar Business Bureau
In order to protect the interests of local pepper growers, the Government has cleared a proposal from the Spices Board to impose a minimum import price (MIP) of Rs.500 per kg on the spice.
“The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has approved the proposal of the Spices Board for fixing the CIF value of Rs.500 per kg as MIP for pepper to protect the interests of pepper growers,” said an official statement.
In recent times, decline in the domestic pepper price due to cheaper import of pepper from other origins has been a major concern among pepper growers, it said.
The prices of pepper have declined by nearly 35% in a year and have led to a lot of hardship for domestic pepper growers.
Pepper prices, which was hovering at over Rs.700 per kg in 2016, are now at around Rs.350-400, a concern for the domestic growers.
“Since most of the pepper-producing countries are in the ASEAN region, there have also been apprehensions of pepper from these countries, being routed through Sri Lanka taking advantage of lower duty under SAFTA and ISLFTA, for availing concessional import duty,” the statement said.
Traders and pepper growers have been demanding stringent measures such as fixing of MIP in order to curb cheap imports of pepper into India from other countries.
The fixing of MIP will help in preventing the downturn in the domestic price of pepper at the time when the harvesting season of the spice is fast approaching.
India’s imports of pepper, including white pepper, light pepper and black pepper, were 20, 265 tonnes in 2016-17, an increase of around 23% compared to 15,600 tonnes in 2012-13, according to the data by Spices Board.