Govt mulling zero duty on wheat flour import to check prices

Govt mulling zero duty on wheat flour import to check prices
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First Published: Thu, Aug 02 2007. 08 18 PM IST
Updated: Thu, Aug 02 2007. 08 18 PM IST
PTI
New Delhi: The government is considering removal of 30% customs duty on import of the wheat flour (atta), seeking to control the prices of the commodity in the domestic market.
“We will take up the matter with the Cabinet for a decision on bringing down customs duty on wheat flour to 0%,” a top government official told PTI.
Atta prices are currently ruling in the range of Rs12-15 a kg in the retail market.
The official said no revenue loss was expected to accrue to the exchequer due to the proposed move.
The move will help in reduction in prices of the commodity with a rise in supply in the country, the official said, adding that the government would also take a call this month on importing wheat for the social welfare schemes and public distribution system.
Since the international wheat prices are ruling high, the government would be monitoring the situation continuously before taking a decision on its import, he said.
On whether the decision to import wheat flour would give US wheat an indirect entry into the country through sale of the grain to flour mills outside India, the official merely said commercial considerations would come into play.
As per the latest government projection, wheat output during 2006-07 is estimated at 74.89 million tonnes as against 69.35 million tonnes during the previous year.
Government has contracted for over 5 lakh tonnes of wheat import this year to augment the buffer stock for meeting any exigencies.
It has announced plans to import up to 50 lakh tonnes if the situation warranted.
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First Published: Thu, Aug 02 2007. 08 18 PM IST