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Wednesday, Oct 11, 2006

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Lankan pepper sector opposes export cap

G.K. Nair

Kochi , Oct. 10

The stakeholders of the Sri Lanka Spice industry have once again recommended to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Trade and Commerce that no cap should be introduced on the exports of Pepper from Sri Lanka to India.

The Spices and Allied Products Producers' and Traders' Association (SAPPTA) has been making this recommendation to the Trade Ministry for a long time, Mr Thushani Jayanetti, Secretary of SAPPTA informed Business Line on Tuesday.

Against cap

The association's recommendation is based on the argument that under the Free Trade Agreement a maximum quantity of around 3,500 tonnes of Sri Lankan Pepper finds its way into the domestic market in India, as against the total quantity of about 7,500 tonne exported from Sri Lanka to India. The difference between these figures of about 4,000 tonne is imported into India by the Pepper Extractors who manufacture oleoresin for export from India and other export-oriented units who process pepper for export.

As the intended cap is for 2,500 tonnes and the estimated imports into the domestic market in India is around 3,500 tonnes, the extra quantity that India is receiving from Sri Lanka after the Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement is only 1,000 tonnes or two per cent of India's estimated production of 50,000 tonnes (as declared at the International Pepper Community sessions this year).

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