Ban on pulses export extended till March 2012

New Delhi: Ban on export of pulses has been extended by one more year till March 2012, even as the country is likely to import 3.40 million tonnes of the vital foodgrain item to match the enhanced demand.

"The period of validity of prohibition on exports of pulses is extended up to March 31, 2012," a Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) notification said. The ban was to expire on March 31.

The restriction was imposed in June 2006 to augment domestic supply and check prices of the commodity.

Wholesale price based inflation in the pulses segment in February 2011 stood at 1.89 per cent, down from 12.72 per cent in the same month last year.

However, the prohibition will not apply to export of Kabuli Chana and 10,000 tonnes of organic pulses during 2011-12, DGFT said.

Notwithstanding expected bumper production of pulses during 2011-12, India is likely to import 3.40 million tonnes of the commodity, the government had said recently.

The production of pulses during 2011-12 as per the Second Advance Estimates of the Agriculture Ministry is put at 16.51 million tonnes.

Planning Commission has estimated the demand for pulses in the country during the period at 19.11 million tonnes.

To augment domestic availability of pulses, the government has permitted its imports at zero duty up to March 31, 2012.

Regarding export of organic pulses, the DGFT said the quantity shall be 10,000 tonnes up to March 2012.