The Union Government does not have an estimate of areca nuts traded outside the tax network

Union minister says areca nut does not account for a significant share of customs revenue

Union minister says areca nut does not account for a significant share of customs revenue

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The Union government does not have an estimate of how much areca nut is marketed outside the tax network.

Responding to starless questions from Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel at the Lok Sabha on April 4, Union Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said the development direction of the nut areca and spices under the Ministry of Agriculture and Union Farmers’ Welfare reported that about 15% of areca nut is marketed by cooperatives such as the Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative Ltd (CAMPCO), Mangaluru; the Cooperative Sales Society Ltd (TSS) of Totagar, Sirsi; Malnad Areca Marketing Cooperative Society Ltd (MAMCOS), Shivamogga; the Tota Utpannagala Marata Sahakara Sangha (TUMCOS), Channagiri, and 85% of the areca nut is marketed by private traders. A good quantity of areca nuts is marketed through the APMCs established in the areca growing areas.

Referring to the smuggling of areca nuts from Myanmar, the government said that 21 cases of outright smuggling had been recorded by Customs Preventive Formations (CPF) Moreh & Pallel and the Divisional Preventive Force (DPF) of the Imphal division from 2021-22 to February 2022.

“Field training and the Directorate of Tax Intelligence (DRI) under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), Directorate of Revenue, provide constant monitoring. Upon detection of cases of attempted smuggling, action is taken in accordance with the Customs Act 1962,” the minister said, adding that areca nut does not contribute significantly to customs revenue.

Responding to starless questions from Mr Kateel and MP for Kasaragod (Kerala) Rajmohan Unnithan at Lok Sabha on April 5, Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that Karnataka is the largest producer of areca nuts in India, accounting for 78.64% if production in the country. Kerala accounts for 7.33% of production in India.

He said yellow leaf disease (YLD) in areca nut plantations has been noticed in all districts of Kerala and six taluks of Karnataka (Koppa, NR Pura, Sringeri, Mudigere, Sullia and Madikeri).

The Kerala government has provided a package to farmers for the rejuvenation of the areca nut plantation, he said.

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