India will continue to import lenses duty-free until March 2025

The Center has extended the import duty exemption for lenses for a second year till March 31, 2025. The Finance Ministry has extended the import duty exemption for lenses with a supplementary notification dated December 21, 2023.  To curb inflation, lentils are  allowed  to be imported duty-free. Importation is normally subject to a 30 percent tax. “Extending duty exemption by one year will benefit  importers and increase supply”, said Bimal Kothari, President of Pulses and Grains Association of India. Masur imports  have grown significantly this financial year, and some tur dal consumers have switched to masur dal in  recent months. Under Tur Dal’s leadership, pulses have become expensive this year as erratic monsoon affects domestic production, fueling food inflation. According to business estimates, the high price of tur dal has led to a drop in demand  of about 15-20 percent as consumers switch to other pulses.  According to iGrain India, total lentil imports, including expected imports in November,  stood at 11.48 lakh tonnes compared to  8.58 lakh tonnes in FY2022-23. “The industry has been waiting for this exemption,” said Rahul Chauhan of IGrain India.  India mainly imports lentils  from major producing countries such as Canada and Australia. The government recently removed a counter-tariff on lens imports  from the United States.  

 Meanwhile, the  ongoing Rabi cropping season, which was postponed to last week, rose above last year’s level for the first time. According to the latest data from the Ministry of Rural Affairs, as of December 22, the cultivated areas of masur increased to 17.97 thousand hectares (lh) from 17.77 million a year ago. However, the total area under  pulses further decreased to 137.13 lh from 148.53 lh a year ago, mainly due to the decline in chana cultivation. With favorable weather conditions in  key growing regions like Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, the pulses business expects a bumper crop for masur, increasing production by 5-10 percent this year. The production of lentils in 2022-2023 was more than 15.8 million tons, which is more than the 12.69 million tons of the previous year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *