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Centre approves floor price for pepper imports to aid domestic growers
Dec 07, 2017

  
To protect domestic pepper growers against a surge in imports possibly originating from South-East Asia, especially Vietnam, the government has approved a proposal from the Spices Board for imposing a minimum import price (MIP) of Rs.500/kg on the spice.
 
Decline in the domestic pepper price due to cheaper import from other origins has been a major concern among pepper growers. Pepper prices have gone down by nearly 35 per cent in one year and have resulted in a lot of hardship for pepper growers, a release from the Commerce & Industry Ministry pointed out.
 
Pepper, which ruled at over Rs.700 per kg last year, is now trading at slightly above ?400 spelling doom for domestic growers.
 
There are apprehensions that since most of the pepper-producing countries are in the ASEAN region, pepper from the region is being routed through Sri Lanka taking advantage of lower duty under SAFTA (South Asia FTA) and India-Sri Lanka FTA, the release said.
 
Farmers’ associations have been demanding that the government must take stringent measures, including fixing of MIP, to prevent cheaper imports of pepper into the country from other origins.
 
The Indian Pepper and Spice Trade Association (IPSTA) had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Commerce Ministry earlier this year requesting a MIP on pepper to check imports from Vietnam which is likely to have a robust produce in 2017.
 
Fixing of MIP will help in improving the domestic price particularly when the harvesting season of pepper is fast approaching, the release added.
    

The Hindu Business Line

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