These importers had warehoused the goods in free trade warehousing zones (FTWZs) even before the May 15 government notification on changing the category to “free.” The question now is whether the pulses already lying in the warehouses can avail of the benefit. Some of the FTWZs where the goods are stored, including the Mundra in Gujarat, have approached the commerce ministry seeking clarity.
“The relevant date of import is undoubtedly date of removal of goods from the FTWZ, which must be determined with filing of bill of entry for home consumption. Keeping the provisions in mind, and the objectives of the announcement, it is hoped that the clarification will be issued by the authorities,” said Abhishek A Rastogi, partner at law firm
The government has removed import of pulses from the restricted category from May till the end of October. India imports toor dal from Myanmar (which is currently under strict lockdown due to a spike in Covid-19 cases), Sudan (harvest ends in March), Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania (which are facing Covid-related supply chain disruptions), said industry trackers. Rastogi said a “pragmatic approach” by the government to release the cargo would help improve supplies and control prices.