India extends potato import from Bhutan without import license for another year

Bhutanese traders can continue to export potatoes to India for another year. This development follows a notification from India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The notification dated 3rd of July states import of potatoes is allowed from Bhutan without any import license up to the end of June next year. A similar exemption has also been made for areca nut export.                

Previously, the Indian government had given import exemption for potatoes from Bhutan for a year, which ended on the 30th of last month.

The new import notification on potatoes signed by the Director General of Foreign Trade states that “import of potatoes from Bhutan is permitted freely, without any license, up to the 30th of June, 2024.”

Potatoes from Bhutan are exported to India via Samtse, Phuentshogling, Gelephu, and Samdrup Jongkhar.

So far, we have exported 183 metric tonnes of potatoes from our Samdrup Jongkhar auction yard which comes to about Nu 4.1 M. Accordingly, from the Phuentshogling auction yard, we have exported 290 metric tonnes which amounts to Nu 5.4 M,” said Dorji Tashi, CEO, Food Corporation of Bhutan.

In a separate notification by India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Bhutan can also export 17,000 metric tonnes of fresh areca nut to India without meeting the minimum import price.

While the export of these commodities is facilitated by the Food Corporation of Bhutan, areca nut export is mostly facilitated by private traders.

“Areca nut rarely comes to the FCB. Nevertheless, we have managed to export a little over 200 metric tonnes of areca nuts from our auction yard in Samtse,” added Dorji Tashi.

Previously, areca nuts were only exported from Phuentshogling.

According to the new notification, apart from Phuentshogling, areca nut export will also be allowed through Chamurchi, a neighbouring border town in Samtse.

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