The Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (Campco) Ltd has expressed displeasure over the notification of the DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) dated September 28, allowing the import of green arecanut from Bhutan without minimum import price (MIP).
In a notification dated September 28, the DGFT allowed the import of 17,000 tonnes of fresh (green) arecanut every year from Bhutan, through LCS Jaigaon, without MIP condition, subject to valid Registration Certificate issued by DGFT.
A Kishore Kumar Kodgi, President of Campco, said Campco has been representing to the Union Government time and again about the constant import of arecanut. Such imports affect the domestic market and impact the life of domestic growers in the country.
He said the implementation of the above notification would not only affect the domestic market, and thereby the arecanut farmers, but would also go against the spirit of the comprehensive policy of the government doubling farmers’ income.
“Being the President of Campco, representing arecanut farmers, and on behalf of the entire arecanut fraternity, I protest the said notification issued by the DGFT, and appeal for its immediate withdrawal,” he said.
Kodgi told businessline that some people may take advantage of this notification to import the commodity by under-invoicing it. He also feared that some countries may take benefit of this notification and may route their produce to India dumping it in the domestic market.
Recently, a delegation of stakeholders from arecanut sector had met the Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, in Delhi.
In that meeting, Campco had requested the government to fix the minimum tariff value for import to above ₹360 a kg based on the current cost of cultivation. The minimum tariff value for imports was last revised to ₹251 a kg in 2017.
In its memorandum to the government, Campco had stated that that cost of cultivation has increased by more than 30 per cent since 2017.
On Thursday, the new stock of white arecanut was trading in the range of ₹450-475 a kg and old stock in the range of ₹525-560 a kg.