Ministry of Commerce Undersecretary Tarkaraj Bhatta clarified that India will permit the entry of fresh Nepali ginger into its territory, without being subjected to any tax under the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) scheme.A statement by the Commerce Ministry recently highlighted that India has agreed to prohibit the 5 percent tax previously levied as per the GST on import of fresh ginger from Nepal, thereby permitting local farmers and traders to export tax-free produce to India, reports The Kathmandu Post.With the introduction of the GST in India, Nepali traders were asked to obtain relevant permits from the government to sanction a waiver on import duty, in lieu of the five percent tax that was imposed.
To this regard, Nepali officials called for a meeting with the Customs Commissioner and other officials in Siliguri recently, where they argued citing the Nepal-India Trade Treaty, which had ensured free access for Nepali agricultural products to Indian markets.”The meeting did produce positive results. But this is a stopgap measure. The ministry will find a permanent solution to this problem soon,” Kathmandu Post quoted Bhatta saying.On a related note, Nepal is the third largest ginger producer globally, preceeded by China and India. Furthermore, India is a major importer of Nepali ginger, both fresh and processed (94 percent).