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Cashew processors to go on strike

Cashew processors to go on strike

February 12, 2018


Cashew processors, under the banner of Federation of Cashew Processors and Exporters, will hold a demonstration in front of head post office here on Monday, to protest against the alleged side-lining of cashew sector in the Union and state budgets. Their prime demands include withdrawal of Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act and import duty on raw cashew.


At a news conference here on Friday, the processors said both the budgets completely ignored the cashew sector. The reduction on import duty on raw cashew nuts from 5 % to 2.5 % served no purpose, they pointed out.


They said refund of crores of rupees collected under Goods and Service Tax (GST) from cashew processors, who import raw nuts with 100% export obligation of processed nuts under the Advance Authorisation Scheme (AAS), was pending.


Also, financial institutions have been harassing them in the name of the "draconian" SARFAESI Act, they said adding that one cashew processor committed suicide and another was battling for his life after attempting to kill self, due to torture.


A majority of cashew processors operate on the basis of packing credit availed from financial institutions. A wage hike for cashew workers announced by the government two years ago had badly hit the industry and a good number of factories have been closed since then. For those who managed to survive, the new tax and duty burdens further pushed up the cost of production thereby making it impossible to compete in the international kernel market.