Spice exporters urge govt. to end scam

By Rathindra Kuruwita 

Spices and Allied Products Producers’ and Traders Association (SAPPTA) of Sri Lanka has requested the government to remove certain spices imported to Sri Lanka from the entrepôt and TIEP-I Schemes, SAPPTA Acting Chairman GS Chatoor said.

He said that some spices, imported from various countries at a very cheap rates, were re-exported as Sri Lankan products. This had drawn the ire of many countries,including India, which had imposed a minimum import price of Rs. 500 per kilo on black pepper, Chatoor said. This has crippled Sri Lankan pepper exports and lowered the price.

"We have informed the government of the situation and urged it to take necessary action. So far nothing has been done except making a proposal to introduce a testing method, which would complicate things.

SAPPTA Acting Chairman GS Chatoor said: "India is Sri Lanka’s biggest export destination for pepper. It has delayed the clearing of a number of shipments from Sri Lanka. The Indian officials have not budged despite continuous appeals.

"Effective from December 2017, the Government of India has introduced a Minimum Import Price (MIP) for Pepper of Indian Rupees 500 per kilo which increases the price to USD 7,700 per metric tonne. Currently, we export pepper at around USD 4,600. So, it is not feasible for importers in India to buy from us."

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