IMPORT OF PEPPER UNDER ADVANCE LICENCE BANNED
MOVE TO HELP PEPPER GROWERS – KAMAL NATH
Date : 22 Dec 2004
Location : New Delhi
The government has banned the duty-free import of pepper for export production under Advance Licence. Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, said this move was meant to help growers of pepper who have been facing difficulties due to fall in domestic prices following some imports into India. At a meeting with the Kerala Chief Minister, Shri Oommen Chandy, Shri Kamal Nath indicated that the order to this effect issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) would enable the pepper farmers to overcome the problem arising out of a glut in the domestic market.
Several representations had been received by Shri Kamal Nath including from MLAs and MPs regarding the misuse of import of black pepper under the advance licence scheme. The Government of Kerala had also been asking that the entry of pepper into India may be restricted and canalised only through selected ports.
Thereafter, it was decided to closely monitor the import of black pepper, which is already on the sensitive list. The ban comes in the wake of a recent surge in import of pepper.
Shri Kamal Nath also assured the Chief Minister of Kerala that he would look into the policy of sale of tea through auctions in order to address the issue of intermediaries when Shri Chandy pointed out that while consumers were paying Rs.120 per kg., growers were getting only Rs.55 per kg. of tea. The Minister mentioned that as of now 100% of tea produced was sold through auctions as demanded by the major tea growing states like West Bengal and Assam.
The Commerce Ministry, Shri Kamal Nath said, was in the process of bringing out a comprehensive package for coffee sector which would take care of the problems of coffee growers in the States of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu etc. He further said that the Centre has sanctioned a project of Rs. 50 crore for the upgradation of the traditional coir sector in the State.
Shri Kamal Nath also informed the Kerala Chief Minister that he would be visiting Kerala soon to attend the planters meeting so as to have a first-hand understanding of the farmers woes.