Centre fixes 2021-22 import quota for tur, moong

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on March 21, 2021

Total pulses imports are expected to be over 1.15 million tonnes during 2021-22   -  The Hindu

Millers oppose move to allow traders to import

The Centre has permitted imports of 4 lakh tonnes of tur and 1.5 lakh tonnes of moong for the financial year 2021-22, to meet the shortfall in domestic supplies. In its latest notification, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has also allowed traders to import these pulses along with the millers and refiners.

“Import shall be allowed to the Millers/Refiners/Traders and will be allocated equally to pre-determined numbers of applicant through an algorithm based lottery system, as per procedure to be notified by DGFT,” the notification said.

Besides, the Centre has extended the date for the import of 1.5 lakh tonnes of urad for the current financial year from March 31 to April 30, based on the trade request considering the difficulty in importing from Myanmar, where the prevailing political situation has disrupted the supply chain. For the year2021-22, the Centre had recently announced urad import quota of 4 lakh tonnes.

‘Stock up’ fears

While the traders are happy about the Centre’s latest move, the dal millers have opposed it. Millers fear that traders would import pulses and stock them to take advantage of the market situation as the domestic production, impacted by erratic weather pattern, is seen lower this year resulting in a firming trend in prices of urad and tur in recent months. Prices of almost all pulses are ruling firm on improving demand and supply constraints.

“The government’s decision to allow traders to import pulses is not fair and we oppose it,” said Suresh Agarwal, Chairman, All India Dal Mills Association. “Traders import and stock, whereas millers import, process and sell them. There is a wide difference between the way each of them operate.”

The Indian Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), however, has welcomed the government’s move. Jitu Bheda, chairman, IPGA, in a statement said that the association’s recent suggestion of allocating quota equally to a pre-determined number of applicants through an algorithm based Lottery System has also been approved.

“This will not only control the rising prices but also improve the overall sentiments giving a major boost to the trade. Total imports of 5.5 lakh tonnes will be sufficient for the current situation. This will be over and above the tur import of 2 lakh tonnes from Mozambique as per the MoU between the two governments. Total tur imports would be 6 lakh tonnes,” Bheda added.

Total pulses imports are expected to be over 1.15 million tonnes during 2021-22. According to the Agriculture Minstry’s second advance estimates, pulses production is seen at 24.42 million tonnes for 2020-21 crop year, higher than previous year’s 23.03 million tonnes.

Published on March 21, 2021

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