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CEPCI reiterates need for ban on import of all types of cashew kernels

05 November 2019

 

The Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI) while welcoming the decision of the Indian government to pull out of RCEP has called for ban on all types cashew kernels to India.

 

To protect the domestic cashew industry, this council had requested the Government to ban import of all type of finished and semi - finished cashew kernels including de-shelled category and to limit the export incentives to products that has undergone transformation in India . "Now, large volumes of semi-finished kernels are dumped in India under advance authorization and duty free tariff preference scheme from African countries as well by making use of export incentives and reduction in duties and levies there. This has made processing in India totally unviable. The council is optimistic of getting the support of the government in this regard," said R K Bhoodes, CEPCI chairman.

 

The industry had big concerns of India joining RCEP, as it allows duty free import of cashew and its allied products. It would also lead to a situation where cashew kernels from non-RCEP countries to be routed through RCEP countries and later imported into India from RCEP countries at nil duties. It would have totally destroyed the Indian cashew Industry creating massive retrenchment of workforce and adversely affecting the economy of the nation as well, Bhoodes, said.

 

Cashew is perhaps the worst sector affected by free trade and preferential trade agreements. There already exists an anomaly in the ASEAN agreement by which the roasted cashew kernels are fully exempted from import duty while the plain cashew kernels are subject to 70% import duty. Everywhere, the value added and finished products are normally subject to a higher duty than the base products to protect the processing industry. This anomaly in import duty has resulted in mis-declared imports of plain cashew kernels under the pretext of roasted kernels.

 

At the request of CEPCI, to protect the domestic industry, the government had introduced minimum import prices (MIP) of Rs 720/680 for wholes/broken cashew kernels respectively and hiked the import duty of cashew kernels to 70% (from 45%). This has proved helpful to the industry, he said.

 

Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com