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CCEA allows unrestricted export of all certified organic agricultural products

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved removal of all quantitative ceilings on individual organic products and allowed unrestricted exports of all organic and organic processed products.

The removal of quantitative ceilings will be irrespective of any existing or future restriction/prohibition on the export of their basic product (non-organic).

However, in respect of organic pulses and lentils, the quantitative ceiling on exports will continue but enhanced from the existing 10,000 MT per annum (MTPA) to 50,000 MTPA. in view of their acute shortage in the country.

Benefits
  • Removal of quantitative celling on wheat, non-basmati rice, organic sugar and increasing limit on export of organic pulses is expected to contribute to Government’s objective of doubling the farmers’ income by 2022.
  • It will lead to reduction in input costs in farming and aid farmer in gaining premium price for organic agriculture products.
  • It will also result in increased adoption of organic agriculture by farmers and complement various Government programs like National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NSAM), Organic Value Chain Development in North Eastern Region (OVCDNER) and Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) taken up to encourage organic agriculture.

Note: All organic products exports in the country are certified by Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Ministry of Commerce and Industry under the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP).

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China agrees to import rice from 17 mills in India

China has agreed to import rice, non-basmati and basmati varieties from 17 registered mills in India. These mills are in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

It is considered as a major breakthrough in India’s efforts to ensure market access for Indian products (especially rice) in China as it is the world’s largest rice importer.

What is the issue?

  • India had repeatedly sought market access for Indian products citing the country’s widening goods trade deficit with China.
  • The products included non-basmati rice, pharmaceuticals and many fruits and vegetables among others.
  • However, China had not granted market access to India’s non-basmati rice claiming that it failed to meet Chinese norms on quality, safety and health standards.
  • China’s apprehensions included the possibility of the cabinet beetle (or Khapra beetle) pest getting transported along with Indian non-basmati rice consignments to China.
  • In India, China’s objection to Indian non-basmati export was seen more political in nature than anything else as it imports non-basmati rice from its all weather friend Pakistan.

Note: India’s goods trade deficit with China has ballooned to $52.7 billion in 2015-16 from $1.1 billion in 2003-04.

Background

  • After numerous requests from Indian side, Chinese officials had visited India in September to inspect 19 rice mills registered with National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO).
  • NPPO had assisted its Chinese counterpart AQSIQ during inspection for plant quarantine purposes and pest-risk analysis to ensure that non-basmati consignments from India will be pest-free, of good quality and safe.
  • The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) under the Indian Commerce Ministry was also involved in the process.
  • Besides, India also had earlier sent the information sought by AQSIQ regarding the quality protocol and standard operating procedures.

NPPO is the nodal government agency for inspecting mills and granting certificates on plant health for export purposes. It is mandatory for Indian rice exporters to get registered with NPPO.

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Union Government extends duty drawback facility for textiles

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has extended duty drawback facility on all textile products for one year to boost exports.

Besides, CBEC also has increased rates in some cases for the benefit of Indian exporters.

What is duty drawback?

  • It is a refund that can be obtained when an import fee has already been paid by a business entity for a good but the good is then subsequently exported.
  • In order to obtain a duty drawback, a business does not have to have paid the import duty nor do they have had to perform the product’s exportation. But they only need to be assigned the drawback from those to whom it would typically be due.

Under the revised norms

  • Domestic textiles will attract drawback of 7.5% now as against 7.3% earlier. Thus, duty drawback benefits textile exporters will help to overcome barriers exporters face in exports.
  • Similarly, incorporation of blanket and other cotton products in this category will attract drawback rate of 8% from 7.2% earlier.

What is purpose of the duty drawback facility?

These drawback duties are aimed at giving a boost to exports of cotton textiles. It will provide adequate neutralization of incidence of duties and taxes on the export goods and make them more competitive in the international markets.

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