In a letter addressed to the Union Commerce Minister, secretary of the association M. Ramakrishnan claimed that the cashew import lobby, affected due to the steps taken by the council in curbing fraudulent imports of finished/semi-finished kernels, was behind the move
The Tamil Nadu Cashew Processors and Exporters Association (TNCPEA) has urged the Centre to revoke the suspension of the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI)’s powers to issue or renew Registration-cum-Membership Certificates for exports.
In a letter addressed to Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, the secretary of the Association M. Ramakrishnan claimed that the cashew import lobby, affected due to the steps taken by the council in curbing fraudulent imports of finished/semi-finished kernels, was behind the move.
“The suspension of CEPCI is aimed at paralysing the council and to ensure unhindered imports of cashew kernels to the country. The CEPCI was not even served a notice on suspension by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and the decision is highly detrimental to the domestic cashew industry,” Mr. Ramakrishnan said.
The surge in fraudulent imports of finished and semi-finished cashew kernels from competing countries has paralysed the Indian cashew industry and rendered lakhs of workers employed in the industry jobless, the letter said.
Mr. Ramakrishnan alleged that low quality cashew kernels have been flooding the markets and the difference in prices has destroyed the prospects of the domestic cashew industry. As a result, genuine processors in the country who found it difficult to compete against the low-priced kernels were left with no other option but to down their shutters.
The Association claimed that CEPCI was vigilant against such importers and even arranged for collection of data of imports and passed it over to the customs and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). This resulted in seizure of more than 60 import consignments.
The Union Government should revoke the suspension of CEPCI and ban all imports of finished/semi-finished kernels to protect the cashew industry, Mr. Ramakrishnan added.
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