After protest over pepper imports, Government fixes Minimum Import Price for pepper

One just blogged about how Indian pepper farmers have asked government to intervene against cheap pepper imports from Vietnam.

And as expected, the government has decided to intervene by fixing minimum import price:

The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry has approved the proposal of the Spices Board for fixing the cost, insurance and freight (CIF) value of ₹500 per kg as the Minimum Import Price (MIP) for pepper to protect the interests of pepper growers.

In recent times, decline in the domestic pepper price owing to cheaper import of pepper from other origins has been a major concern among pepper growers. Pepper prices have gone down by nearly 35% in one year and have resulted in a lot of hardship for pepper growers.

Since most of the pepper-producing countries are in the ASEAN region, there have also been apprehensions of pepper from these countries, being routed through Sri Lanka taking advantage of lower duty under SAFTA and ISLFTA, for availing concessional import duty. Farmers’ associations have demanded taking of stringent measures, including fixing of Minimum Import Price for pepper, to prevent cheaper imports of pepper into the country from other origins, a release from the Press Information Bureau stated on Wednesday.

Fixing of Minimum Import Price will help in improving the domestic price particularly when the harvesting season of pepper is fast approaching, it said.

Meanwhile, Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP, welcomed the decision on Wednesday. In a release, Mr. Kateel said that pepper growers had been urging the government for the same. 

…..Price of Indian pepper which was ₹650 last year has dropped to ₹380 a kg now.

Eventually politics triumphs over everything else.

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