Our Bureau

Mangalore, July 18

THE Director of Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Co-operative (Campco) Ltd, Mr Nagaraja Shetty, has urged the State Government to withdraw the 4 per cent tax on wet cocoa beans.

Addressing newspersons here on Monday, Mr Shetty said that the Karnataka Government has placed wet cocoa beans under the 4 per cent slab in the value-added tax system. Wet cocoa beans were exempted from tax earlier.

Mr Shetty, who represents the Bantwal constituency in Karnataka Legislative Assembly, said that he has brought this to the notice of the Finance Minister, Mr Siddaramaiah, on the floor of the House. Mr S.R. Rangamurthy, Campco Director, said that the initiative of the co-operative to sell arecanut in small packets has evoked a good response in the northern market, especially in Gujarat. The Gujarat depot has been making profits for the past few months.

He said that the co-operative is concerned about the import of inferior quality arecanut from other nations. Campco has requested the Karnataka and Kerala Governments to pressure the Centre to ban arecanut import.

To a query on export of arecanut to Pakistan, Mr Shetty said that the annual demand for arecanut in that country is one lakh tonnes.

The co-operative has bagged an order for the export of 200 tonnes of arecanut to that country.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 19, 2005)
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