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Govt suffers Rs 875 cr loss on pulses import
New Delhi, March 4: The government has suffered a loss of Rs 875 crore on the imports of pulses during the last three years mainly due to reasons differences in the domestic and international prices, Parliament was informed on Monday.
"Due to the differential between domestic prices and international prices and exchange rate fluctuations, losses to the tune of Rs 875 crore were incurred in the last three years. These factors are well beyond the control of importing agencies," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
Imports are affected through designated state trading enterprises - STC, MMTC, NAFED and PEC, he said, adding that pulses imports are undertaken by the government on account of shortage in domestic supply.
On the question that what corrective measures the government has taken in this regard, Sharma said: "The schemes for 15 per cent reimbursement of losses for import of pulses for PDS have been discontinued".
In another reply, Sharma said that India is not a party to a plurilateral discussions on international services agreement (ISA).
"These discussions are at a part of the WTO Doha Round process," he said, adding countries like the US, Australia, EU, Canada, Japan, Pakistan and Israel have been exploring a plurilateral approach to ISA.
He said that India has also decided "not to join the negotiations" for the proposed broadening the scope of Information Technology Agreement (ITA).
Some of the developed countries like the US, EU and Japan have proposed a broadening the scope of ITA, which is being referred as ITA-2, under which customs duty would be bound at zero.
"India's experience with the ITA-1 has not been encouraging as it almost wiped out the IT industry from India.
After examining the matter in consultation with the nodal ministry - the department of electronics and information technology - and other stakeholders, it has been decided, for the present, not to join the negotiations as it will not be in the national interest," he added.