Even during a recent meeting held by Union commerce minister, Kamal Nath, with spice growers, traders and exporters, traders had sought extension and the minister had assured them that the matter would be considered.
The Spices Board, the nodal agency to implement the scheme, had so far received over 130 applications for around 2,200 tonne exported. As the scheme was meant only for export of Indian pepper, EOUs had been kept out of the scheme which had been challenged in the Kerala high court and a decision in the matter was yet to be taken.
As per the scheme, the total subsidy per kg of pepper exported would be Rs 7 which includes Rs 5 for international freight and Rs 2 for internal transport. The delay in the announcement of the scheme was reason for the lower response and the board officials expected to meet the target once the scheme was extended.