Government tightens norms for import of pulses

NEW DELHI: The government has tightened norms for the import of pulses to ensure that its domestic prices don’t fall below the minimum support price. The prices of most pulses have been below the minimum support price levels, leading to farmer unrest in the main pulses-growing areas.

The government has also introduced a quota system only for millers and refiners for the import of tur, moong and urad, according to a notification by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). To avail this quota, dal millers have to submit applications between May 15 and 25. The allocation of quota for each beneficiary will be notified on June 1 and millers have to complete their imports by August 31, the DGFT said.

Suresh Aggarwal, president of the All India Dal Mill Association based out of Indore, said the move will benefit Indian farmers as the import quota has been reduced compared to the previous year and only millers and refiners have been allowed to import.

“Earlier, trading companies and wholesalers were also importing leading to increased imports and pressure on prices,” he said.

Importers and traders imported tur as it was much cheaper in the global market compared to the domestic market, traders said. Over 4.04 lakh tonnes of tur were imported during April-November 2017 as against the cap of 2 lakh tonnes imposed by the government for financial year 2017-18, government data showed. To check imports, the government has asked dal millers to inform them of the import of pulses on a weekly basis. Last week, the government had imposed import cap on split and milled dal as well. It had also fixed the quantity –– 1.5 lakh tonnes each of urad and moong along with 2 lakh tonne of tur including split and other forms this financial year.

The government set restrictions on pulses imports in August 2017. The free import of tur, moong and urad has been restricted by imposing a quota of 2 million tonnes import on tur and 3 million tonnes on moong and urad together.

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