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Govt eases norms for import of 12 lakh tonne GM soya cake

New Delhi, The government on Tuesday relaxed norms for import of 12 lakh tonne of genetically modified crushed and de-oiled soya cake, used as livestock feed.

The commerce ministry said the move will benefit farmers, poultry farmers and fishermen in a big way.

“Import Policy… has now been relaxed to allow imports of 12 lakh metric tonne of crushed and de-oiled GM soya cake (only non living organism)….from Nhava Sheva port and LCS Petrapole, till 31st October, 2021 or until further orders, whichever is earlier,” it said.

The relaxation comes after clarification and prior permission from the environment ministry that since soya de-oiled and crushed (DOC) cake does not contain any living modified organism, it has no objection to such imports.

Further, in order to ensure the import quantity of 12 lakh tonne is not breached, strict monitoring will be carried out by Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) through the customs authorities at respective ports, the commerce ministry said.

The imports are necessary as skyrocketing prices of soyameal have made the livestock feed costlier, affecting farmers associated with the poultry, dairy and aqua industry.

Soyameal is a protein-rich solid leftover after extracting oil from soyabean seed, the new crop of which is expected to arrive from October.

According to the agriculture ministry”s fourth advance estimate, soyabean production is pegged to be higher at 12.89 million tonne for the 2020-21 crop year (July-June) as against 11.22 million tonne in the previous year. PTI