Budget 2019: Govt hikes import duty on cashew kernels to 70%; industry hails

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July 5, 2019 6:44 PM

Union Budget 2019: Besides, huge volumes of broken cashew kernels are regularly been imported by mixing them with cashew husk and declaring them as husk alone, the Council added.

Budget 2019: Also, bulk volumes of semi- finished kernels are imported under Advance Authorisation scheme and sold in the domestic market, it said.

Union Budget 2019: The government Friday announced hike in the import duty on cashew kernels to 70 per cent from the current 45 per cent, a move which exporters body CEPCI hailed saying it will help revive the crisis-hit industry. As per the budget 2019-20 document, the customs duty on both plain and broken cashew kernels will be raised. However, the council’s request for hike in the import duty and placing roasted cashew under prohibited items is yet to be decided, Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI) Chairman R K Bhoodes said.

“Also, the request to withdraw 2.5 per cent import duty on raw cashew nut which was much awaited by the industry is not seen addressed in the budget,” he said. The CEPCI also demanded the government to put a complete ban on the import of roasted cashew, semi-finished cashews and husk, and to roll back the import duty on raw cashew nuts. According to the council, the industry is heavily dependent on imported cashew and the import duty has made the domestic processing unviable resulting in diversion of raw cashew nut from other producing countries to our competing countries.

Apart from that, there has been a surge in imports of plain and also semi-finished cashew kernels into the country by “mis- declarations and making use of loop holes in the existing laws”, it said. Large volume of plain cashew kernels are imported under the pretext of roasted cashews which attracts zero duty under various Free Trade Agreements. Also, bulk volumes of semi- finished kernels are imported under Advance Authorisation scheme and sold in the domestic market, it said.

Besides, huge volumes of broken cashew kernels are regularly been imported by mixing them with cashew husk and declaring them as husk alone, the Council added. “With these types of imports, genuine processors or exporters find it difficult to survive and the industry is almost at the verge of a total collapse,” Bhoodes said.

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