New Delhi: The government has made import of yellow peas (matar), the cheapest pulse in the country, costlier by imposing a minimum price of Rs 200, along with the existing 50 per cent import duty to ensure that the farmers get remunerative prices for crops that will be harvested from January. On Thursday , a day after the government notification, prices of peas jumped by 20 per cent to Rs 55 a kg, while chana rose 4 per cent to Rs 49 a kg in the Delhi’s wholesale market. Snacks makers and restaurants prefer the less expensive yellow peas over chana. The government had earlier restricted import of yellow peas, but importers got a stay order from the Jaipur High Court in mid-2019 and shipped in almost 5 lakh tonnes.
Late on Wednesday, the government amended the import policy for the import of peas. “Import of peas shall be subject to an annual quota of 1.5 lakh tonne as per procedure notified by DGFT and it will be subject to minimum import price (MIP) of Rs 200 and above CIF per kilogram,” it said in a notification. The import will be allowed only through Kolkata sea port, it said. This restriction shall not apply to the government import commitments under any bilateral or regional agreement or memorandum of understanding, it added. The MIP will be applicable for import of all varieties and categories of peas such as yellow peas, green peas, dun peas and kaspa peas.
Yellow peas from Ukraine, Canada and Russia are gaining popularity. “Even with an import duty of 50 per cent, more than five lakh tonne of the peas has been imported from April till date.
Now with upwardly revised MIP and additional duty, yellow peas will cost Rs 300 a kg at the port, which will be an unviable proposition for the traders. This is good news for farmers who will be harvesting chana and tur by next month,” said Vivek Agrawal, a commodity broker with Maharashtra based JLV Agro.
Source: Economic Times