To ensure adequate domestic supplies of pulses, the government on Wednesday extended its decision to keep ‘free-import’ policy for two varieties – tur and urad by a year till March 31, 2024.
The government in March 2022 had extended the ‘free-import’ policy for two varieties of pulses by a year. Under the regime, introduced in May last year, specified pulses can be imported without any quantitative restrictions.
“The decision has put to rest the speculations regarding the import policy regime for pulses in the next financial year and it also signals a stable policy regime,” an official told FE.
Inflation in pulses in November, 2022 was 3.15% on year. Modal retail prices of tur and urad according to department of consumer affairs data on Wednesday rose to Rs 110/kg and Rs 115/kg respectively from Rs 100/kg for both the varieties of pulses six month back.
India’s pulses production rose by close to 9% to 27.75 million tonne (MT) in the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) compared to previous year. India is largely self-sufficient in chana production which has a share of 50% of the total pulses production.
According to estimates, the country imports around 15% of annual pulses consumption. Around 2 MT of pulses were imported in FY22. Under the bilateral agreement signed last year, India has committed to import 0.25 MT urad and 0.1 MT of tur annually from Myanmar between 2021-22 and 2025-26.
India signed an MoU with Mozambique for import of 0.2 MT of tur annually for five years when the retail prices of tur skyrocketed to Rs 200 a kg in 2016. This MoU was extended for another five years in September 2021.
In 2021, India entered into a MoU with Malawi for the import of 0.05 MT tur per annum, till 2025. Imports from all the three least developed countries are exempted from import duties.
According to a notification issued by the Directorate General Foreign Trade, import of pulses are allowed through five ports – Mumbai, Tuticorin, Chennai, Kolkata and Hazira. However, all the import consignments need to have ‘certificate of origin’ issued by respective countries.