Import restriction on peas to stay as Madras HC upholds DGFT notification

A day after the withdrawal of restriction on import of peas, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) on Thursday said that the trade barrier would continue.   

The one-day-old notification of the DGFT was reversed following an order of the Madras High Court, which upheld the DGFT notification dated April 25 imposing a restriction on peas import till September 30, 2018. The DGFT's April notification was challenged by some traders in Madras High Court claiming the notification was invalid.   

'The Madras High Court upheld the DGFT's April notification. This means the import restriction on all varieties of peas would continue till September 30," said Bimal Kothari, managing director, Pancham International, a Mumbai-based pulses importer.

The DGFT had on Wednesday withdrawn its own notification issued in April. The withdrawal of this notification had created a panic in the market resulting in a price fall of up to 3-4 per cent across all varieties of pulses. With Thursday's notification, however, their prices recovered fully.

"We would like the government to continue with the import ban for one more year at least for pulses prices to recover above the minimum support price (MSP) level," said Pradeep Kumar Jindal, director, Jindal Overseas Corporation, one of India's largest importers of pulses.

India imported around 5.6 million tonnes of all varieties of peas, including yellow peas, chick peas, pigeon peas, kidney beans, cow peas, etc, primarily from Canada, Australia and Ukraine, among other countries.  

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