Govt working on scrapping import duty on cashew kernel: Prabhu
New Delhi, Feb 15 (KNN) Eyeing to facilitate India’s cashew industry, the government is working on scraping the import duty on cashew kernel, said Suresh Prabhu, Commerce & Industry Minister.
Addressing the Kaju India 2019 global cashew buyer-seller meet organised by the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI), he said “The government reduced customs duty to 2.5 per cent on cashew kernel and is now working on 0 per cent import duty.”
The Commerce Ministry will also set up a series of centres in states to help farmers and exporters to brand and sell products to international market, he added.
He stated the major global cashew exporting and processing countries including India, Vietnam and Brazil need to join hands and exchange information to cooperate and prevent competition to ensure sustainability of the cashew industry and meet future challenges.
"To generate more employment, particularly for rural women, earn foreign exchange, and add to economic development, we need to focus more on cashew exports”, Prabhu added.
He also mentioned that under the new National Agriculture Export Policy, the government has identified specific agriculture export zones and clusters that are well connected with ports and airports in the country.
The new agriculture policy has been jointly prepared by the ministries of Commerce, Agriculture, and Food Processing, said Prabhu.
According to CEPCI, India processes 17 lakh tonnes of raw cashew nuts per annum. Of this, around 9 lakh tonnes are imported, mainly from African countries.
Under pressure due to serious competition from foreign competitors at home and abroad, the Indian cashew industry has sought government intervention to create a "level playing field" and revision of the minimum import price (MIP) for cashew kernels and allied products. (KNN/YV)