Published On : Tue, Apr 30th, 2019

Govt hikes import duty on wheat by 10 per cent

Record production expected in country this year

Nagpur: Secretary of The Wholesale Grain and Seeds Merchant Association Pratap Motwani informed that the Central government has taken a decision to hike import duty on wheat by 10 per cent from the current 30 per cent to 40 per cent. The move has been initiated to benefit the wheat growing farmers, Motwani said.

The Union Finance Ministry through its updated notification, has hiked the import duty by 10 per cent. A record production of wheat is expected this year with India being the second largest producer of wheat in the world, Motwani informed. With this move, the government aims to ensure that wheat growing farmers get proper price for their produce.

Last year too, the country had record production of wheat and the same scenario is expected to be repeated this year. This has caused fall of 11 per cent of wheat prices. According to Motwani, the Central government has fixed wheat’s minimum support price at Rs 1840 per quintal. In addition, the respective state governments pay bonus to the wheat growers. Wheat import would have certainly increased supply in the market leading to further fall in its prices, to prevent this, the government has decided to hike import duty, Motwani said.

This year, the Agriculture Ministry has estimated 9.91 crore tonnes of wheat, a rise by 30 per cent compared to last year. This would be the highest production figure till date. The wheat stock with government was reported to be 17 million tonnes till April 1, 2019, which is 30 per cent higher than last year. The government has fixed minimum support price of wheat at Rs 1840 per quintal to procure from the farmers, with the target of procuring 357 lakh tonnes of wheat during entire Rabi season. Till April 22 this year, government agencies have already procured 55.17 lakh tonnes of wheat from farmers which include 28.54 lakh tonnes from wheat growers of Haryana, 18.89 lakh tonnes from Madhya Pradesh, 2.90 lakh tonnes from Punjab, 2.78 lakh tonnes from Uttar Pradesh and 1.97 lakh tonnes from the farmers of Rajasthan.

By Awadhoot Pathak