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12:59 am - Monday November 20, 2017

Import Duty on Wheat

The Central Government has enhanced the import duty on wheat from 10 to 20 per cent to make it double to protect local wheat market. Despite being an agricultural country and producing bumper wheat in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, the imported wheat is much cheaper than our own crops.

The food grains traders and bulk purchaser food oriented industries are buying imported wheat. The next rabi crops of sowing season is in and by March-April it will come to the markets.

The Centre and State Governments will purchase it on support price. To store new arrival FCI and Central Warehousing are required to keep vacant its godowns. But traders are not purchasing it being on higher rates.

Under such compelling situation the Centre has enhanced import duty on what to raise its costs. Instead reducing the cost of foodgrains for consumers in the Government adopting the policy of enhancing the price of vital food crops.

The Government should see that now it is era of global trading under the World Trade Agreement (WTA) and our price structure must be competitive with international prices.

The support price system and waiving of agro loans making the farming community over dependent on the Government for everything whether it is floods, scanty rains, pest or frost attack or problem of over bumper productions.

The Government should consider that few years back we were exporting the wheat and why that situation is now in reverse conditions that we are importing it which is cheaper than our own production.

The same situation is about pulses also. In the acute shortage of pulses and it shooting upto Rs.200 per kilogram the Government encouraged the farmers to grow more pulses and our production enhanced.

The Government for the first time decided to create buffer stocks of pulses also. But the imported pulses are much cheaper than our own production. The support price enhanced the prices over the imported pulses.

The traders are not purchasing it from Government stocks and buying imported pulses. The Government must change its policy of enhancing the price above international rates.

Posted in: Editorial

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