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India Permits Potato Imports From Bhutan Till June 2024

The DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) has issued a notification declaring that the import of potatoes from Bhutan will continue without the need for an import license until June 30, 2024. This decision aims to maintain a steady supply of potatoes while fostering bilateral trade relations between the two countries. Additionally, the DGFT has also facilitated the import of fresh areca nut from Bhutan and outlined a procedure for the allocation of quota for the export of broken rice.

Background of the Import Policy

Under the previous import policy, the import of Potatoes from Bhutan was allowed freely without an import license until June 30, 2023. However, in light of recent developments, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has extended the period for importing Potatoes from Bhutan without any license. The Ministry’s notification outlines the specific changes in the import policy for Potatoes. According to the amendment, the revised policy now allows businesses to import Potatoes from Bhutan without an import license until June 30, 2024. This extension provides clarity and eliminates the need for additional documentation and requirements.

Legal Framework and Rationale

The amendment aligns with the powers granted by the Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation) Act, 1992, and the Foreign Trade Policy, 2023. These regulations empower the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to modify and update import policies to facilitate trade and ensure the smooth flow of imports.

Enhancing Trade in Areca Nut

In a separate notification, the DGFT has also announced the permission to import 17,000 metric tonnes of fresh (green) areca nut from Bhutan, without the condition of a minimum import price (MIP). This move opens up opportunities for traders to engage in the import of areca nut through the Land Customs Station (LCS) in Chamurchi, a village situated in the Jalpaiguri district of India, close to the Bhutan border. The absence of the MIP condition further facilitates trade by providing flexibility in pricing.

Key takeaways for competitive examinations

  • Prime minister of Bhutan: Lotay Tshering
  • India’s largest potato-producing state: Uttar Pradesh
  • Minister of Commerce & Industry: Piyush Goyal

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