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  • Cashew export council against withdrawal of import duty

    Mar 12th, 2016

    The administrative committee of the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI) which met on Wednesday called upon the Union government not to withdraw the 5 per cent duty on import of raw cashew nuts imposed in the 2016-2017 Union Budget. The CEPCI at the same time wanted a rollback on the 4 per cent special additional duty on the product imposed, but was not averse to the .36 per cent Swachch Bharat cess.

    In a statement here on Friday, CEPCI chairman P. Sundaran said that the 5 per cent duty would be beneficial to genuine cashew processors and exporters. He said that of late due to increase in cashew kernel demand in the domestic markets, the price of raw cashew in the country was being inflated by a handful of traders and not international factors.

    As a result of this trend, the price of raw nuts in the country had gone up by 40 per cent in the past one year alone, Mr. Sundaran said. The CEPCI felt that because of such negative trends, the export deficit of the cashew sector had crossed Rs.1,500 crore. The new import duty introduced would only serve to boost the export of kernels and curtail the widening trade deficit, he said.

    Tough times

    The CEPCI was established by the Government of India with the aim of promoting exports of processed cashew products.

    Mr. Sundaran said that the country’s cashew sector was passing through tough times owing to escalating raw nut prices against falling prices of finished products resulting in processing and exports becoming unviable, leading to closure of many factories.

    Main reasons

    He said that uncontrolled imports and multi-level trading of raw nuts was the main reasons for this unsatisfactory state of affairs. Added to that the industry had been facing issues due to large-scale processing in the unorganised sector that evaded the payment of statutory benefits to the employees as well as taxes.

    “Making use of duty-free imports of raw nuts into the country, certain traders have been importing and hoarding bulk quantities of raw nuts; thereby creating artificial shortage in the market and selling nuts to the unorganised sector processors at very high prices. In the process, genuine processors and exporters stand to lose,” he said.