Cashew industry is now a big Forex loss to the Indian treasury and the farmers are crying for an import ban. “Why the Government supports this much Forex loss? Why there is no import duty, no Vat or no APMC Tax on raw cashew imports? Why the Indian farmer should suffer Vat, APMC and permit related problems in his own country? Americans and Europeans are giving billions of Dollars as farm subsidy to their farmers but the Indian policy is so strange that the cashew farmers of the country have to surrender to foreigners in the Indian markets despite supply shortage in the country. In a time when the cashew cultivation is shifting to poorest among poor nations and the Indian cashew grower is compelled, in his home town, to sell his harvest even below their selling price, how can the crop survive in India? Even if India bans raw cashew imports, it will remain as a cashew kernel exporter and can gain Forex worth Rs1000-1500 crores in a financial year. But India may lose Forex worth Rs1000-1500 crores every year by freely permitting raw cashew imports i.e following the same discriminatory policy. So according to this calculation, Forex difference will be Rs2000-3000 crores’ !” – This is their point of view
But there are other realities out there too – ‘If the Indians stop raw cashew imports, main sufferers will be millions of workers and their dependents. Indian raw cashew prices and cashew kernel prices will also rocket to unpredictable levels and small scale entrepreneurs will face a total financial crisis. Countries who depend on only cashew crop for their living will fall in to a economic and social turmoil’.
So the Indian Government should only begin the long awaited step -‘ the levy of Import Tax on raw cashew imports’ – in the Budget 2012.