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Nadda wants import tariff increase on Chinese apple


Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda met Union Minister of State for Commerce Nirmala Sitaraman on Thursday and discussed ways of protecting farmers of Himachal Pradesh who are up against cheap Chinese apples and garlic.

He said the Chinese apples with low import tariff and garlic with zero duty were being dumped in the market.

Mr. Nadda, who hails from Himachal Pradesh, requested Ms. Sitaraman to consider including apple in the special products category so that the import tariff could be increased as per the WTO rules. He also urged her to take up with the Ministry of Home Affairs the issue of illegal smuggling of garlic from Nepal and Bangladesh.

Apple farming in six districts accounts for 6 per cent of the State’s GDP. The import tariff on the Chinese apple cannot be enhanced beyond 50 per cent under the “bound rate of duty” commitment to the WTO. To increase the tariff, apple has to be included in the “special products” category. To create a level playing field for local farmers, negotiations should be held with the WTO by the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Nadda said.

Garlic, which cannot be imported from China, is getting smuggled from some neighbouring countries that are re-exporting it to India after importing it from China at zero duty. Garlic producers have said this “illegal” practice has ensured that Chinese garlic is available in Indian market at a cheaper rate.

This endangered the livelihood of domestic growers and flouted the ban on the fungal-invested garlic varieties from China, Mr. Nadda said.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 8:38:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/nadda-wants-import-tariff-increase-on-chinese-apple/article7405431.ece

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