According to the Indian Pepper and Spice Traders, Growers, Planters Consortium-Kerala chapter 1,800-2,000 tonnes of pepper reported to have imported from Sri Lanka to India.
Kishore Shamji, coordinator of the Consortium has written a letter to Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, the Consortium pointed out that a senior Sri Lankan minister himself confirmed that 156 containers left the island nation before he could intervene.
“It is actually 180 containers, about which we had cautioned the Indian government since last week of January. These have now been cleared and left the Sri Lankan coast,” said Kishore Shamji, coordinator of the Consortium, in the letter.
He said such large quantities of Vietnam pepper, which is being cleared from Sri Lanka port with the Certificate of Origin as Lankan pepper, will be arriving at various Indian ports like Mundra in Gujarat, Nhava Sheva in Mumabi, Chennai and Thoothukudi ports in Tamil Nadu and Krishna Pattanam in Andhra, before being distributed across India.
Vietnam pepper attracts a duty tariff of 51 per cent. But by claiming the pepper to of Sri Lanka origin, the importer pays only 8 per cent. It’s widely alleged the importers in many cases remit only the actual contracted price of $3,000 per tonne and balance $4,100 per tonne is not paid in violation of FEMA rules.
Source: The New Indian Express