Our Bureau

Guntur, March 15

THE transactions at the turmeric market yard at Duggirala in Guntur district - one of the major ones in the State - have been hit badly with the imposition of four per cent export cess by the State Government.

The commercial tax authorities have issued notices to the traders to pay 4 per cent export cess. The latter have appealed to the Government that they are not direct exporters but only commission agents supplying the turmeric to exporters in other States and therefore they are not obliged to pay the cess.

The commercial tax officials, however, have rejected the contention.

The traders have not been actively participating in the transactions over the past few months due to the pending export cess issue. From Monday they are altogether staying away from the yard.

The traders at the other yards in the State - Warangal, Khammam and Cuddapah - are also planning to halt transactions from Wednesday. The trade at Nizamabad - the biggest yard in the State - is planning to do so from March 21, it is learnt.

As the fresh arrivals of turmeric are picking up in different yards, the bandh has come as a blow. From April, the arrivals gather momentum and the issue, it is hoped, may be resolved at least by then.

Andhra Pradesh is the major producer of turmeric in the country, accounting for 40-50 per cent of the total production, estimated roughly at 40-45 lakh bags. Currently, the per-quintal prices at the Duggirala yard are in the range of Rs 1,800-2,400.

Farmers contend that a minimum of Rs 2,500 per quintal is needed and are urging the State Government to take up market intervention through the State Markfed (marketing federation).

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 16, 2005)
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