Government will import 5 lakh tonnes of maize to check price rise and hoarding in the wake of fall in domestic production of the crop.
To check prices and prevent hoarding, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has approved importing 5,00,000 MT of maize under Tariff Rate Quota by a state trading enterprise, her ministry said in a tweet.
To check prices & prevent hoarding Smt @nsitharaman approves importing 5,00,000 MT of Maize under Tarrif Rate Quota by State Trading Entp.
— CIM India@GOI (@CimGOI) July 9, 2016
Under Tariff Rate Quota Scheme, government allows imports of four products, including maize (corn), at concessional rates of customs duty.
At present, maize attracts 50 per cent import duty. However, under the Tariff Rate Quota Scheme, the import duty is zero.
Eligible entities for allocation of quota under the scheme in case of corn include STC, MMTC and PEC.
In June, state-owned trading firm PEC had invited bids for import of 50,000 tonnes of maize (non-genetically modified) to boost domestic supplies in view of fall in production.
As per Agriculture Ministry’s third advance estimate, maize production in the country is estimated to have declined to 21.02 million tonnes in 2015-16 from 23.67 million tonnes in the previous year.
India has been traditionally a major corn exporter to southeast Asia but drought and rising domestic demand has cut export supplies.
Poultry sector and starch manufacturers are the major consumer of maize.
The government is also importing pulses to boost domestic availability and check price rise. As of now 46,000 tonnes of pulses have been contracted for supply.
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