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CEPC asks government to clamp down on illegal imports

The Cashew Export Promotion Council has requested the government to restrict illegal imports of cashew kernels, which have caused the shutdown of over 50% of Indian factories and job losses amounting to around 6 lakh. The cashew industry in India is spread across 17 states and provides foreign exchange of Rs 6,000 crore per annum to India. The industry employs around 10 lakh workers.

Chairman R K Bhoodes has stated that a large quantity of plain cashew kernels (mostly broken) are being brought in from competing nations like Vietnam, Mozambique and Ivory Coast, taking unfair advantage of the duty exemption provided under FTAs.

He claims that exporters from these countries are processing these products, which are inferior to Indian products. These exporters are literally disposing these products in the domestic market at throwaway prices because they do not have a domestic market for them, according to Mr Bhoodes. Even Indian processors are setting up their processing units in these countries.

Customs duty on plain cashew kernel is 45%, but this is applicable for a minimum import price of Rs 288 per kg for broken grades. By evading customs duty, these exporters are making it difficult for Indian firms to operate.