Pulses import falls by 1 million tonnes in FY’18
Import of pulses declined by nearly one million tonne (MT) in 2017-18 financial year on record output, helping the country save Rs 9,775 crore in foreign exchange, the government said today. “Pulses import has declined by 10 lakh tonne from 66 lakh tonne in 2016-17 to 56.5 lakh tonne in 2017-18, resulting in saving of foreign exchange amounting to Rs 9,775 crore,” the agriculture ministry said in a statement.
The output touched an all-time high of 23.95 MT in 2017-18 crop year ending next month, beating the earlier record of 23.13 MT achieved in 2016-17. The production increased on the back of good monsoon as well as higher support price offered by the government.
After pulses’ prices skyrocketed to over Rs 200/kg in retail market in mid 2016, the centre has been taking various steps to boost their output and make country self-sufficient. The country has been importing 4-6 MT every year to meet the domestic demand of about 24 MT.
In view of the bumper output, the government has imposed import duty as well as put quantitative restrictions on various varieties of pulses. Import duty on chickpeas has been fixed at 60 per cent, yellow peas at 50 per cent, lentils at 30 per cent and tur at 10 per cent.
That apart, the government said it has imposed quantitative cap of 2 lakh tonne per year on tur dal and 3 lakh tonne on urad and moong. In case of peas, import of 1 lakh tonne is allowed for three months till June this year. “Exports of all varieties of pulses have been allowed with effect from November 22, 2017 which was earlier not allowed. Incentive at 7 per cent under Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) has been sanctioned for export of chana,” it added.
Besides pulses, the ministry has also listed out measures taken to curb import of edible oils and wheat. The year-to-year export growth in agri and allied products rose 10.5 per cent during 2017-18.