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Centre's Import Restriction on Moong Beans has Troubled Indian Pulses Importers

Importers of pulses have run into problems as a result of the government's declaration last Friday restricting the import of moong beans with immediate effect.

Chintu Das
Moong Beans
Moong Beans

Importers of pulses have run into problems as a result of the government's declaration last Friday restricting the import of moong beans with immediate effect. Previously, moong beans may be imported under the "free" category if a bill of lading was issued by March 31, 2022, and customs clearance was completed by June 30, 2022.

"Based on the "free" import policy, Indian market players have committed into enforceable contractual commitments for the import of moong from other countries into India," said Bimal Kothari, vice chairman, India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA). Only two months ago, India's government approved the "free" entry of moong, but that policy has suddenly been reversed overnight. We appeal that the government review the announcement restricting imports and reestablish the "free" import policy on behalf of all market participants."

"Frequent policy changes put Indian market players in a lot of trouble, while overseas counterparts are left in the dark. Changes like this are harmful to foreign trade and contradict India's "Ease of Doing Business" goal. As a result, we recommend that the government provide the market adequate warning before implementing new rules that might jeopardise current trade obligations "Kothari continued.

"Because Indian importers have contracted shipments that are now in route to Indian ports, we are requesting that the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry rescind this announcement. If these cargoes are not permitted to be imported, it would cause significant financial difficulty for Indian businesses as well as market pandemonium "he stated.

The Agriculture Ministry estimated moong output at 2.06 million tonnes in its first advance estimates released on September 21 last year, higher than the projected 2.02 million tonnes and the previous year's fourth advance estimate of 2.01 million tonnes. Due to irregular rainfall patterns in areas like Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh, among others, the trade was anticipating a lesser yield. Moong acreage is anticipated to be 5.13 lakh hectares in the current rabi season, which is lower below the typical area for the season of 9.4 lakh ha and the previous year's 7.03 lakh ha.

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