The Centre on Monday reduced the import duty on masur dal to zero and also halved the Agriculture Infrastructure Development Cess on the lentil to 10 per cent, in a bid to boost domestic supply and check rising prices.

A notification in this regard was tabled in the Rajya Sabha by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The Minister said that the basic customs duty has been reduced from 10 per cent to nil on lentils (masur dal) originated in or exported from countries other than the US.

Also, the basic customs duty has been reduced from 30 per cent to 20 per cent on lentils (masur dal) originating in or exported from the US, she said. Further, the Agriculture Infrastructure Development Cess on lentils (masur dal) has been reduced from the present rate of 20 per cent to 10 per cent, she added.

Retail price of masoor dal has increased by 30 per cent to Rs 100 per kg now from Rs 70 per kg on April 1, this year, as per the data maintained by the consumer affairs ministry.

India Grains and Pulses Association (IGPA) Vice Chairman Bimal Kothari had early this month said,”India annually needs 25 million tonne of pulses. But this year, we are expecting a shortage.”

The government had introduced the Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) on certain items, including petrol, diesel, gold and some imported agricultural products, this fiscal in a bid to boost agriculture infrastructure.

Source: moneycontrol