27 July 2021, New Delhi, IN: The Centre on Monday reduced the import duty on masur dal to zero and also halved the Agriculture Infrastructure Development Cess on the lentil to 10 per cent, in a bid to boost domestic supply and check rising prices.
Responding to the action taken by the central government Mr. Bimal Kothari, Vice-Chairman, IPGA said, “The government shouldn’t have reduced the import duty as prices of lentils aren’t going to soften. It will not benefit any Indian stakeholders except the Canadian farmers, Canadian exporters, Australian farmers, Australian exporters and the multi-national companies. We will not see the corresponding price reduction of 22% on the prices of lentils.
The price of lentils may merely reduce by Rs. 1 or Rs. 2 and not by Rs. 13 or Rs. 14. Upon this notification of the Government, the Canadian and Australian exporters have already increased the price by USD 75/80 per MT. This policy is definitely not in the interest of the Indian consumer, the Indian farmer, Indian Pulse trade and not even the government. Infact Government will lose substantial revenues due to the reduction in the import duty of Masur Dal.
Similar policy was announced last year in 2020 and the import duty was reduced from 33% to 11%. IPGA brought to the attention of the Government of India, the demerits of such a policy and after 3 months it was increased back to 33%. We urge the government to not to take such detrimental steps which will severely impact farmers, consumers and trade.”