The government has banned imports of desiccated coconut priced below Rs 150 per kg, a moved aimed at discouraging inbound shipments of the commodity. Desiccated coconut is grated and dried form of coconut used in the food industry. “Import of desiccated coconut with CIF (cost insurance freight) value of Rs 150 and above per kilogram is free and import below CIF value of Rs 150 per kilogram is prohibited,” the directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT) said in a notification.
The DGFT, an arm of the commerce ministry, deals with export and import related matters. In 2018-19, India imported desiccated coconut worth USD 7.45 million. However, during April-November 2019-20, the imports significantly jumped to USD 21.43 million.
The development assumes significance as the coconut product makers were demanding import duty on desiccated powder in the wake of rising imports from Sri Lanka. As per reports, imports of the product from Sri Lanka increased to 5,340 tonne in 2018-19 as against 314 tonne in the previous fiscal. The cost of the product in India hovers at around Rs 150 per kg.