Total imports during the first 9 months touch 62,056 t

Arecanut imports from Bangladesh constituted 84 per cent of the total imports during the first nine months of 2012-13.

Total imports

India imported 52,263 tonnes of arecanut from Bangladesh valued Rs 278 crore during the period.

However, the total import during that period was 62,056 tonnes valued Rs 333.82 crore.

These figures were furnished by the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry to Nalin Kumar Kateel, Member of Parliament of Mangalore, in the Lok Sabha, recently.

In a question, he wanted to know the details of arecanut imports from various countries.

Major producer

In fact, the share of Bangladesh in the total import of arecanut has increased significantly over the years.

The share was around 18 per cent in 2009-10, and it increased to 43 per cent in 2010-11. In 2011-12, it reached 74 per cent.

The figure went up to 84 per cent in the first nine months of the current financial year.

In a media meet last month, President of the Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (Campco) K. Padmanabha had expressed concern over the increase in arecanut imports from Bangladesh.

He had then stated that Bangladesh is not a major producer of arecanuts, and those from Indonesia and other countries are routed through Bangladesh to India.

Customs duty

He said the arecanut import from Bangladesh is exempt from customs duty as it comes under the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA).

In a notification dated August 14, 2012, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade had fixed the minimum price for import of arecanut at Rs 75 a kg.

Added to this, the importers have to pay a customs duty of 108 per cent over the import price.

Since Bangladesh comes under SAFTA, it is exempted from the payment of customs duty of 108 per cent, he had stated then.

According to the answers given in the Lok Sabha, Indonesia’s share in total imports came down drastically in the first nine months of the current fiscal.

Indonesia exported 23,232 tonnes of arecanut in 2009-10, and 23,292 tonnes in 2010-11.

The figures came down to 6,467 tonnes in 2011-12.

In the first nine months of the current fiscal, it further came down to 1,853 tonnes.

vinayak.aj@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on March 15, 2013)
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