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Thursday, Jun 20, 2002

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Plea to rescind pulses duty

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MUMBAI: Customs duty on pulses import should be scrapped and the commodity should be exempted from storage control and other restrictions under the Essential Commodities Act, the Pulses Importers Association (PIA) has demanded.

Speaking on the occasion of the association's annual general meeting, Mr K.C. Bhartiya, President, emphasised that customs duty of 10 per cent ad valorem on such a basic food item was unjustified and that the fiscal burden eventually fell on poor consumers.

Attacking the extant storage restriction on pulses, Mr Bhartiya, said the Pulses Storage Control Order issued several years ago was meant to tide over shortages, and in the present changed scenario when supplies were comfortable, storage laws were anachronistic. Even though efforts to increase production and productivity of pulses through National Pulses Development Project were on, the rising trend in imports (up from 8.4 lakh tonnes in 2000-01 to 13.6 lt in 2001-02) pointed to continued imports of pulses into the country for some time to come, PIA president observed.

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