The government may revoke the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that it had with Mozambique for import of 200,000 tonnes of tur dal, after the industry raised the issue with the Prime Minister’s office.
‘The supply of tur from Mozambique is not steady yet as they are grappling with some corruption issues within their own country,’ said a senior official who did not want to be named.
‘This has left us with no other option but to consider cancelling the MoU,’ he added.
The Indian government has issued several warnings to the representatives of the Mozambique government, however, the issue has not been resolved.
After waiting for months to import tur from Mozambique, trade body Indian Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA) had sought help from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to look into the matter.
‘We had written a letter to the PMO about how some corrupt officials in the Mozambique government have colluded with ‘one favourite’ exporter allowing only him to control all the export of tur from Mozambique to India. These corrupt officials and this one particular exporter have been keeping the tur prices artificially high,’ said Bimal Kothari, president, IPGA, said.
Mozambique cultivates tur dal mainly for shipping it to India to cover the shortfall in the domestic production and has no other major buyers. Hence, large quantities of tur have been lying on ports of Africa, claim Indian importers.
Meanwhile tur prices have started to soften in the domestic market on account of harvest which has started in places like Koppal and Gulbarga in Karnataka.
This year, prices of tur have been elevated because of a patchy monsoon in 2022-23 in rain-fed growing belts in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana and some disease infestations keeping food inflation high.
The retail inflation in pulses as a category rose to 18.79% year-on-year in October mainly due to sharp spike in prices of tur, chana and moong.
This article has been republished from The Economic Times.