Quota System On Betel Nut Import Terminated

The quota system imposed on the import of betel nut, peas, dates and unwashed pepper has been suspended.

The Department of Commerce, Supplies and Consumer Protection has suspended the quota system after the demand of these goods unusually increased by three times in the local market.

A meeting of the Council of Ministers held on March 22 suspended the quota system a year after it was imposed.

The government had fixed the quota allowing import of only 80,000 tonnes of peas, 25,000 tonnes of betel nut, 5,000 tonnes of dates and 15,000 tonnes of pepper fruit annually.

The department has stated that it has removed the quota system fixed for the current fiscal year. The importers, who have already received permission to bring the goods under the system, should import goods within the current fiscal year, said the department.

Spokesperson of the department Shivaraj Sedhai said that the quota system has been terminated to review the unexpectedly high demands received from the importers.

According to him, the department has not, however, ended the quota system permanently.

After the introduction of the quota system, the traders demanded permission to import of 478,846 tonnes of betel nut from 250 applications, which, according to the department is 19 times higher than the market demand.

Similarly, demands of dried peas reached 1.5 million tonnes from 304 applications, unwashed pepper 166,303 tonnes from 206 applications and dates 60,804 tonnes from 124 applications.

The government has terminated the quota system for the import of betel nut, peas, pepper and date after strong protests from local traders.