Trade body Indian Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA) has claimed that the Government of India’s decision today to reduce import duty on masur will not help reduce masur prices in India. It will only help the Canadanian and Australian farmers who will export to India, said IPGA.

The basic customs duty has been reduced from 10% to nil on Lentils (Masur) originated in or exported from countries other than the USA. Also, the basic customs duty has been reduced from 30% to 20% on masur originating in or exported from the USA. The Agriculture Infrastructure Development Cess on masur has been reduced from the present rate of 20% to 10%.

Bimal Kothari, Vice-Chairman, IPGA said, “The government shouldn’t have reduced the import duty as prices of lentils aren’t going to soften. It will not benefit any Indian stakeholders except the Canadian farmers, Canadian exporters, Australian farmers, Australian exporters and the multi-national companies. We will not see the corresponding price reduction of 22% on the prices of lentils. The price of lentils may merely reduce by Rs 1-2/kgand not by Rs 13-14/kg. Upon this notification of the Government, the Canadian and Australian exporters have already increased the price by USD 75/80 per metric tonne.”

IPGA said that the policy is definitely not in the interest of the Indian consumer, the Indian farmer, Indian Pulse trade and not even the government. “In fact, government will lose substantial revenues due to the reduction in the import duty of Masur Dal.

Similar policy was announced last year in 2020 and the import duty was reduced from 33% to 11%. IPGA brought to the attention of the Government of India, the demerits of such a policy and after 3 months it was increased back to 33%. We urge the government to not to take such detrimental steps which will severely impact farmers, consumers and trade,” said Kothari.

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