Agri Business

Centre extends deadline for urad imports till May 15

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on May 10, 2021

Industry seeks time till mid-June to bring in allocated quota

The Centre has extended the deadline for importing urad under the 2020-21 fical year quota of 1.5 lakh tonnes to May 15. It had earlier extended it to April 30 from March 31 as shipments from Myanmar, the only source for urad outside India, were impacted as the prevailing political unrest disrupted the supply chain.

On May 7, the Commerce Ministry issued a notification extending the deadline. However, the pulses industry feels that the extended window for imports is too short and suggested that the deadline be extended till mid-June. “It is too short a period to import. We have urged the Government to allow imports till mid-June,” said Jitu Bheda, Chairman, Indian Pulses and Grains Association, the apex trade body. It is not clear as to how much of the allocated quota of 1.5 lakh tonnes of urad for 2020-21 has been imported into the country.

Unclear picture

“It is very difficult to figure out how much has been imported as we don’t have clear data. Our guess is that not more than 10,000 tonnes is left out,” he said.

Industry sources said the current extension of the deadline will not help the industry in any way as it takes at least least seven days for the vessels to reach India from Myanmar.

For the current financial year, the Centre has permitted imports of 4 lakh tonnes each of tur and urad. Besides it has also allowed imports of 1.5 lakh tonnes of moong to meet the shortfall in domestic supplies. However, the industry is waiting for the import quota to be allocated by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade to the processors, refiners and traders. “Every one is waiting for the quota to be released. It has not been allocated yet,” Bheda said.

For fiscal 2021-22, total pulses imports are expected to be in excess of 1.15 million tonnes. According to the Agriculture Minstry’s second advance estimates, pulses production is seen at 24.42 million tonnes for the 2020-21 crop year, higher than previous year’s 23.03 million tonnes. For the crop year 2021-22, the Government has set a higher production target of 25 million tonnes. In the ongoing summer cropping season, farmers have planted pulses on 17.75 lakh hectare as compared with to 10.49 lakh hectare the previous year.

Published on May 10, 2021

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