Government Permits Potato Imports From Bhutan Without Licence
A supervisor inspects sacks of potatoes stacked inside a cold storage in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India (Photographer Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Government Permits Potato Imports From Bhutan Without Licence

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The government on Friday permitted imports of potatoes from Bhutan without licence, a move aimed at boosting domestic supply and control prices of the agricultural commodity.

The imports are allowed without licence only up to Jan. 31, 2021, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade said in a notification.

Imports of potatoes, otherwise, fall in the restricted category, which means that an importer requires a licence from the DGFT for the inbound shipments. But, the government on Friday partially relaxed the import norms.

"Import of potatoes...is allowed for import from Bhutan without licence up to January 31, 2021," it said.

In a public notice, the Directorate has laid out the procedure for import of potatoes under the TRQ (tariff rate quota) scheme.

According to the procedure, only one application against one IEC will be considered and successful applicants will have to ensure that the import consignment reaches the Indian ports on or before Jan. 31 next year.

Also read: Government Imposes Stock Limit On Onion Traders To Check Prices

Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal, who also holds the commerce portfolio, said 30,000 tonnes of potato is being imported from Bhutan in order to improve the local supply and control prices of the key commodity.

"We are going to import about 10 lakh tonnes of potato and bring prices under control," he added.

Potato prices in the national capital are hovering at around Rs 40-50 per kilogram.

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