On 21 December 2017, the Government of India imposed a new 30% tariff on the import of lentils and chickpeas, citing record production of pulses in the year and sufficient domestic availability. The tariff was imposed with immediate effect resulting in product already on the water to India being subject to the new 30% tariff and future production difficulties.
The Australia India Business Council has consulted with key stakeholders in the Australian pulse market including growers, traders and stakeholders representing key grower associations. The stakeholders stressed the need for the Government of India to consult with stakeholders in the Australian pulse market prior to any significant changes being made in terms of tariff impositions.
Australian growers make decisions as to how much of their farmland is allocate to pulses years in advance of production. Any sudden increases in tariffs will adversely affect growers, particularly in circumstances where growers had increased production levels on the request of India who expected significant demand.
President of the Australia India Business Council (Queensland), Dr Nik Senapati noted “India is one of Australia’s largest trading partners in the pulse industry. It is vital to ensure that commercial risks for all involved in the supply chain is kept to a minimum. The Australian pulse industry is a safe and reliable supplier of pulses to the Indian market and an important industry in enhancing Australia/India business relations.”
The Australia India Business Council encourages and supports initiatives from the Australian Federal Government to work collaboratively with the Indian Government to resolve this trade issue to the benefit of Australian growers.
The AIBC is committed to promoting and supporting two way trade between Australia and India.