The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri
Narendra Modi has approved the signing of a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) between India and Turkey on trade in poppy seeds to ensure
quick and transparent processing for import of poppy seeds from Turkey, says a
The MoU provides that –
1. Turkish Grain Board
(TMO) shall maintain an online system to enable regulation of export of poppy
seeds from Turkey to India. Exporting companies shall submit application
through the Agean Exporters Association (EIB) (responsibility given by law) to
TMO for obtaining membership of the online System.
2. Each year, the quantity
of poppy seeds which shall be imported by India from Turkey shall be decided by
Government of India in consultation with Government of Turkey taking into
account the production of poppy seeds in Turkey in a crop year, balance from
previous crop years and domestic or other export requirement of Republic of
3. The exporting companies
shall get registered with the TMO. Each sales contract entered into by the
exporting company with Indian importer shall be registered with TMO through the
online system referred. It shall be the responsibility of TMO not to register
sales contract in excess of the quantity referred to in Para 2 above.
4. Taking into account the
quantity as referred to in Para 2 above, every year both parties may consider
to set a quantity to be imported by any Indian importer in a crop year.
5. The Central Bureau of
Narcotics (CBN) will register the sales contract registered by TMO as per details
accessed on the online system maintained by TMO in accordance with guidelines
for registration laid down by Ministry of Finance, Government of India. The CBN
shall upload the details of sales contract so registered by it on the online
system. TMO shall allow the export in respect of only those contracts so
registered by CBN.
6. The TMO shall provide a legal production
certificate for the poppy seeds to exporters following the submission of sales
contract and the completion of other necessary procedures.
The MoU will promote quick and
transparent processing of quota allocation and prior authorization for poppy
seeds import from Turkey. In this way genuiness of import contract can be
easily ensured as well as many litigation matter resulting in delay in the
import can be avoided.
The MoU will ensure continuous availability of poppy
seeds in domestic market of India and ultimately Indian consumers of poppy
seeds will be benefited.
Import of poppy seeds from Turkey got
withheld due to litigation resulting in great hike of price of poppy seeds in
domestic market of India and hoarding of the same by some importers. Various
stays given by the Court and repeated adjournment of hearing graves the
situation and resulted in less availability of poppy seeds in the country
leading to great problems to the consumers. To avoid such legal complication,
price rise and hoarding, an alternative mechanism needs to be evolved by way of
an MoU between Government of India and Government of Turkey in which real time
data can be exchanged to ensure the quantity of poppy seeds imported from
Turkey is genuine and legally produced in Turkey.