Govt cuts basic import duty on masur dal to zero to tame prices

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 27, 2021

The zero import duty and the reduced AIDC will come into effect from Tuesday


As part of its effort to rein-in inflation, the Finance Ministry on Monday cut to zero the import duty on masur dal. However, the lentil will attract 10 per cent Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC). The Centre cut the cess on all lentils to 10 per cent from 20 per cent as part of its effort to control the rising prices.

The zero import duty and the reduced AIDC will come into effect from Tuesday, a Government notification said.

According to the notification, tabled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in both Houses of Parliament, the basic Customs duty has been lowered to nil from 10 per cent on lentils originating in or exported from countries other than the US. Imports from the US will attract a basic Customs duty of 20 per cent against the current rate of 30 per cent. The Centre has imposed duty on lentils from the US as Washington has been pressuring India to scrap the 2 per cent digital tax on trade and commerce by non-resident e-commerce firms, a trade analyst said.

The move to reduce the import comes on the heels of retail prices of not just lentils but most pulses such as tur (pigeon pea), urad (black matpe) and moong (green gram) ruling high. Last week, the Centre reduced the stock limit on tur, masur, urad and chana (gram) till October 31.

At the same time, to enhance the domestic availability and smoothen the inflow of pulses, the Centre on May 15 moved tur, urad and moong from the restricted to the free list category of imports till October 31.

New Delhi-based trade analyst S Chandrasekharan said the latest move “ will balance the pulses basket since moong is a good protein supplement.”

Currently, the retail inflation is ruling at over 6 per cent, higher than the RBI’s upper comfort level.


Published on July 26, 2021

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