Govt OKs fumigation of pulses from Canada, France, US at India ports.

The government has exempted pulses imported from Canada, France, and the US from mandatory fumigation at port of origin. These countries have been allowed to fumigate pulses cargoes at Indian ports by paying only the fumigation fee. The relaxations have been granted to these countries in view of India bilateral relations with them. The exemption paves the way for continued pulses imports from these countries. For all other commodities, imported from other countries, the importers have to pay a high penalty in case fumigation is not done at the port of origin. The penalty is five times the inspection fee for the first default, seven times the inspection fee on second default and 10 times the fee on the third instance of default, or not meeting any conditions laid down under the plant quarantine norms. For subsequent defaults, the penalty increases exponentially. Traders have also been seeking a reduction in the inspection fee charged by the phytosanitary authority, as their cost on imports has increased by $2-3 a tonne due to the fee hike.