Home   >   NEWS & VIEWS   >   News

  • Demand to withdraw 9.36% import duty on raw cashew

    Mar 9th, 2016

    Cashew workers and their employers joined hands on Tuesday to organise a march to the office of the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI) here calling for the withdrawal of the 9.36 per cent duty imposed by the Union government on raw cashew nut imports.

    The demonstrators, under the banner of the Kerala Cashew Manufacturers and Exporters Association, who gathered at the Chinnakada Rest House complex in the morning marched to the CEPCI office at Mundakkal passing through the Beach Road and Kochupilamoodu raising slogans against the import duty which has been imposed on raw cashew imports for the first time.

    The demonstrators alleged that it was at the behest of a section in the CEPCI board that the new duty had been imposed. They said the new duty will only serve to kill the cashew sector which is already facing severe constraints when it comes to surviving in a heavily competitive international market.

    Inaugurating the dharna, cashew industrialist and former MLA, A. Younus Kunju said the CEPCI had a history of taking sides with the cashew sector.

    Several questions

    “Fully aware that the cashew sector is passing through a critical phase, the CEPCI move to now recommend a tax burden on the cashew sector raises several questions on the integrity of the board members.

    Mr. Younus Kunju said that prior to the Land Reforms in Kerala, the State produced more that two lakh tonnes of raw cashew annually. The reforms stripped off the plantation status of cashew and that resulted in raw cashew production in the State now falling below 30,000 tonnes annually. Even a major portion of that production is going out to other States for processing. This compels the cashew factories in the State to be totally dependent upon raw nut imports.

    The cashew sector situation in the State is such that a good number of cashew workers are not getting the benefits of the revised wages because the majority of the cashew factories are remaining closed due to high cost of production. It is at such a stage that the new import duty has been imposed, he added.