Agri cess not to impact prices of imported dals: IPGA

In Budget 2021, the government proposed to reduce import duty to 10% on peas, Kabuli chana, Bengal gram and lentils

The government’s decision to levy agriculture infrastructure and development cess of 20%-50% on imported pulses will not have any impact on prices as the rise in cess will be neutralised by lowering of customs duty, according to India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA).

In Budget 2021, the government proposed to reduce import duty to 10% on peas, Kabuli chana, Bengal gram and lentils.

Currently, the duty on chana is 60%, peas at 50%, Kabuli chana at 40% and lentil masoor at 30%.

“The impact is zero. We have not issues as the status quo remains. The amount of cess introduced gets neutralised with lowering of import duty to a flat rate of 10% on four varieties of pulses,” IPGA Vice-Chairman Bimal Kothari told PTI.

The association wants the government to keep the import duty on pulses higher than the minimum support price to check cheaper shipments, he said.

The government has proposed to slap an agricultural infrastructure and development cess of 20% on lentil masoor, 30% on Kabuli chana 40% on peas and 50% on Bengal gram and chickpeas.

Kothari said the country’s pulses imports have been declining for the last three years from the level of 60 lakh tonnes in 2016-17 in the wake of rising domestic production.

The pulses imports remained lower at 20 lakh tonnes during April-January period of 2020-21 fiscal, as against 26 lakh tonnes in the entire previous fiscal, he added.

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