Bamboo sticks used in Agarbathi exempted from Plant Quarantine rule

The Union Agriculture Ministry has exempted bamboo stick with less than 6 mm thickness that are used for Agarbathi production from the Plant Quarantine (PQ) clearance following the intervention of Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shobha Karandlaje.

In an official memorandum of May 24, Joint Director (PQ) Sanjay Arya of the Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine and Storage, informed all Plant Quarantine Stations that the Competent Authority has approved the inclusion of bamboo stick less than 6 mm thickness in the list of processed items that do not require PQ clearance.

The All India Agarbathi Manufacturers Association, Bengaluru, had represented to the Minister the difficulties being faced by the sector with the PQ rule for bamboo sticks being used for rolling Agarbathis. Lakhs of rural women were involved in rolling Agarbathis in Karnataka as well as other parts of the country and the PQ rule for raw material used in the sector has adversely affected the industry.

A statement from Ms. Karandlaje’s office said that bamboo sticks used in Agarbathi rolling were being imported and as per the rule, they had to undergo the PQ test. This had affected timely availability of the raw material for Agarbathi industries. Consequently, more than 10 lakh people depending upon the industry were in a disadvantageous position. The Association had then approached the Minister seeking exemption for the raw material.

Ms. Karandlaje directed the PQ Directorate to take steps to exempt bamboo sticks imported for use in Agarbathi industry be excluded from the list of PQ rule, following which the May 24 order was issued.

Association President Arjun Ranga thanked the Minister and the Ministry for the gesture and said in a letter that the gesture helps lakhs of rural poor and women begin to make a livelihood again following the exemption. As the Industry was struggling to compose itself in the wake of the pandemic, the exemption has come as a long awaited relief, he said. Thousands of tiny, small and medium Agarbathi making units in the country would get benefited by the exemption, Mr. Ranga added.

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Printable version | May 28, 2022 12:25:09 am |