1. Commodity News

Import of Moong Beans Restricted By Centre

Trade urges the government to reconsider its decision and reestablish the free-trade zone policy.

Chintu Das
Moong Beans
Moong Beans

With immediate effect, the Centre has changed the import policy for moong beans, switching it from the 'free' to the 'restricted' category. According to a Department of Commerce announcement dated February 11, the import policy for moong has been changed from 'Free' to 'Restricted' with immediate effect.

Moong beans may formerly 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.

The pulses trade, which has been impacted by the recent policy modification, has requested the government to rethink its decision and reinstate the free import policy.

"Based on the "free" import policy, Indian market players came into enforceable contractual commitments for the import of moong from other countries into India," Bimal Kothari, Vice Chairman, India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), said in a statement. The Indian government permitted the "free" entry of moong just two months ago, on December 20, 2021, and has suddenly reversed that decision overnight. We propose that the Government of India review the announcement restricting imports and reinstate the "free" import policy on behalf of all market participants."

Furthermore, frequent policy changes, according to Kothari, cause significant financial hardship for Indian market players and uncertainty for overseas counterparts. 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 policies that might jeopardise current trade obligations." Because Indian importers have contracted cargoes that are now in route to Indian ports, we are requesting that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry rescind this Notification. If these cargoes are not permitted to enter the country, it would cause significant financial difficulty for Indian businesses as well as market pandemonium," Kothari noted.

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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