DGFT exempts pepper exporters from MIP as growers meet Central ministers

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DGFT exempts pepper exporters from MIP as growers meet Central ministers The row over the levy of minimum import price (MIP) on black pepper between the exporters and the growers seems to have been settled for the time being with director general of foreign trade (DGFT) issuing an order exempting value added exporters from it. 

The DGFT order comes shortly after Kerala High Court granted an interim stay on MIP of Rs 500 per kg a couple of days ago. This will benefit the exporters in 100% export oriented units (EOUs), special economic zone (SEZ) units and under advance authorisation scheme. 

The MIP was levied at the behest of the growers who argued that rising pepper imports were responsible for the slump in black pepper prices. Before the DGFT order came, the grower bodies had decided to appeal against the court verdict on MIP. 

Meanwhile, a large team of growers from Karnataka, which is the largest pepper and coffee producer in the country, represented by Consortium of Black Pepper Growers Organisation, The Karnataka Planters Association, The Karnataka Growers Federation, Black Gold League along with MPs, MLAs and Coffee Board chairman met commerce minister Suresh Prabhu, agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh and several other Central ministers and sought short term immediate measures to resolve the problems faced by the plantation industry. 

In the case of pepper, they have urged the centre to implement minimum support price (MSP) for black pepper, relook into all bilateral agreements and setting up a black pepper park in Chikmagalur. They also appealed to bring down smuggling by tightening vigil over Indian borders. 

For coffee the growers urged the Centre to instruct banks and financial institutions to stop recovery procedures on agri advances, waiver of interest till March 31,2018 and restructuring of agri-advances with lower rate of interest of 6% among other things. Ever since the MIP was imposed, the pepper imports undertaken by exporters for value addition and re-export had dropped. `` From March when DGFT banned any import under Rs 500 per kg, the imports have virtually stopped, hitting exports,’’ said Prakash Namboodiri, chairman of All India Spices Exporters Froum. 

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By BOA Bureau