India lifts restrictions on import of Nepali gingerIndia has lifted restrictions on the import of Nepali ginger. “Nepali ginger is no more on the list of restricted items,” said Rabi Shankar Sainju, spokesperson for the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies.
India has lifted restrictions on the import of Nepali ginger. “Nepali ginger is no more on the list of restricted items,” said Rabi Shankar Sainju, spokesperson for the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies.
The import of ‘wholly produced’ ginger from Nepal is free subject to Articles IV and V of the Indo-Nepal Treaty of Trade, states the notification issued by the Department of Commerce under Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India. ‘Wholly produced’ means crops produced entirely in Nepal.
Earlier, the spicy root was listed as a restricted item. Indian importers had to obtain a separate licence to import ginger from Nepal. As a result, Nepali ginger exporters faced extra charges. According to Nepali ginger exporters, the restriction led to large amounts being shipped illegally to India.
Sainju said Indian authorities had eased the export of Nepali ginger by amending the import policy under Indian Trade Classification. “Indian importers are now allowed to import fresh ginger wholly produced in Nepal that are classified under harmonized system code 09101110,” he said.
India has imposed restrictions on the import of Nepali ginger on several occasions citing chemical residue issues. Once, India barred shipments charging that Chinese ginger was being re-exported after being mixed with the Nepali product.
In January, Indian authorities slapped a ban on ginger from Nepal for nearly a month. Ginger exporters are delighted that India has lifted import restrictions. Narendra Khadka, president of the Nepal Ginger Producers and Traders Association, said it would help reduce the trading cost for exporters while farmers would also benefit from the changed policy.
“Nepali ginger used to be exported illegally to get around the hassle of obtaining a separate licence. Traders also faced difficulties during the customs clearance process. For this reason, traders often sold their products at a very low price,” Khadka said.
Apart from the paperwork hassles, Nepali ginger was subject to quarantine rules and traders needed to get their products tested at an Indian laboratory in Kolkata. “If the quarantine check had been harmonized, it would have been added support for Nepali ginger producers,” Khadka said.
The southern neighbour imposed restrictions on Nepali ginger saying that unscrupulous traders had been shipping Chinese ginger to India. Khadka urged the government to stop such practices. Ginger is one of the major exportable agricultural goods of Nepal. India is the major market for Nepali fresh ginger.
After India imposed restrictions on Nepali ginger, export earnings from this farm product plunged almost one-third to Rs243.38 million last year, according to the Trade and Export Promotion Centre. Kakarbhitta and Bhairahawa are the major export points for the spicy root.