The Finance Ministry on Thursday said that the government has decided to impose 30% import duty on chana and masoor to protect the interest of farmers as good harvest is expected in the Rabi season. “Government has decided to impose 30% import duty on Chana (Chickpeas) and Masoor (Lentils), with immediate effect,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
“Production of Chana (Chickpeas) and Masoor (Lentils) are expected to be high during the forthcoming Rabi season, and cheap imports, if allowed unabated, are likely to adversely affect the interest of the farmers,” the statement added.
At present, tur attracts 10% import duty. The government has recently imposed 50% import duty on yellow peas, while other pulses, however, attract Nil import duty. It was reported that farmers had been demanding import duty on chana and masoor as the prices fell as much as 20% on the anticipation of bumper Rabi harvest. The price of chana was around Rs 35-40 per kg, as compared to the minimum support price of Rs 44 per kg.
Last week, the government raised import duty on a range of electronic goods from mobile phones to televisions. Meanwhile, PTI reported that the government is also considering raising import duty on wheat from the current 20% to boost sowing in the ongoing Rabi season and support domestic prices.
Last month, the government had doubled the import duty on wheat to 20% to curb cheap shipments and give positive price signal to farmers in the Rabi season. It was raised as private traders imported about 1 million
tonnes of wheat since April at 10% duty. PTI quoting sources reported that the government is looking to raise
import duty further to boost sowing operations and support local prices.
The government recently imposed a minimum export price (MEP) of $850 per tonne on onion to increase domestic supplies and check rising prices. MEP is the minimum rate below which exports are not allowed. Onion MEP was scrapped in December 2015.