NEW DELHI:The government has imposed 10 per cent import duty on wheat till March 31 next year to curb inward shipment at a time when there is excess domestic stock.
“The government has decided to impose basic custom duty of 10 per cent on wheat till March 31, 2016,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley informed the Lok Sabha on Friday.
The step had been suggested by the Food Ministry in June to curb the premium quality Australian wheat shipments in order to liquidate the stocks lying with the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
“The government is estimated to gain revenue of about Rs 90 crore in the remaining part of the year,” the Jaitley said in a statement.
India is the world’s second largest wheat producer and consumer after China, and its warehouses often hold double the target amount as farmers get more incentives to produce grains than oilseeds and pulses, which it imports heavily.
Last month some private firms signed deals to import 5,00,000 tonne of high-protein Australian wheat in the biggest such purchases in more than a decade that led to criticism that the government was letting down farmers.
Global prices of Australian wheat, in the range of $265-270/tonne, are viable for flour millers to buy, particularly those in South India.
Wheat output is estimated at 90.78 mt in 2014-15 against a record production of 95.85 mt the year before.