INDIA – India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry has allowed unrestricted importation of pigeon beans, mung beans, and black gram lentils in a bid to curb rising inflation in the country.

Following the decision, grain importers will have unrestricted import of consignments with bills of lading issued on or before October 31, 2021 and cleared by Indian Customs before November 30, 2021.

Prior to the notification, the import of these three pulses, along with peas (HS 0713.10) which includes green, yellow, and Dun (Dundale) peas, were on India’s restricted list.

All were subject to specific Indian fiscal year (IFY April-March) import quota volumes which are determined by the Indian government based on the local supply and demand situation.

Green, yellow, and Dun peas currently remain on India’s restricted list; the government has not yet announced IFY 2021/2022 import quota volumes.

The decision to remove the select pulses from the restriction list comes at a time when India is experiencing food price inflations.

A survey conducted by Post revealed that prices for pigeon peas and urad/black gram lentils are now 15 and 23 percent higher than last year prices.

May 2021 spot prices for pigeon peas and urad/black lentils are now significantly higher than the government’s minimum support price (MSP) of Indian rupees (INR) 60,000 (US$822) per metric ton (MT).

While price increases for mung beans is not too significant, the government is nonetheless easing imports of the three select kharif season pulses, whose domestic plantings commence in June with the onset of the monsoon (mid-to-late June).

India has also introduced free food grains scheme that intends to provide free food to around 800m citizens of the country who have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

This programme will see the disbursal of five kilograms of wheat or rice and one kilogram of pulses and is being implemented through Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) scheme.

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