Five Exporters Lose Licence For Shipping Dirty Spices

Kochi, Aug 29: | Updated: Aug 30 2003, 05:30am hrs
In a major cleaning up act, the Centre has given Spices Board the go-ahead to cancel the export licences of five errant exporters. Board sources said that this was the first instance in which it has taken such stringent action against errant exporters.

Board Puts Two More On Notice

Kochi, Aug 29: The Spices Board has suspended the licence of two more exporters for shipping spices containing pesticide residue. According to Spices Board chairman CJ Jose, the decision to suspend the licence of two exporters -Mumbai-based AK Export Corporation and Taha Enterprises - comes in the wake of their chilli powder consignments containing the carciogenic dye Sudan-I Red.
On July 30, AK Exports is believed to have shipped out 720 bags of chilli powder to South Africa which said to contain the chemical dye.

In a communique received from the Union commerce and industry ministry, the board has been asked to cancel with immediate effect the export licences of three chilli exporters Gautam Exports, Baton Exports and Volga Spices and Masala Mills whose consignments were found to contain the carcinogenic dye Sudan-1 Red and two pepper exporters Kochi-based Nishant Export and Mumbai-based Jamnadas Madhavji International who shipped out imported pepper claiming it to be of Malabar Gold Grade-1 and Tellicherry Grade Extra Bold (TGEB) varieties.

As per the Act, the cancellation is to be done by the Spices Board which has already sent out show-cause notices to the five exporters asking why their licences should not be cancelled.

Top officials in the board said the notice was only a formality as the Centre had recommended cancellation of the licences, based on its report.

The Central order said that the image of Indian pepper had been sullied and Indian spice exports and exporters brought to disrepute. Spices Board chairman Mr CJ Jose told FE that action would be taken immediately and such an action would be warning to exporters that they should not play truant.