Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that “duty is being reduced on certain inputs required for shrimp aquaculture to promote its exports” as part of India’s Budget 2022. The cut looks good for the aquaculture industry and seafood sector in general but it seems the concessions are only for a limited period, from February 2 to May 1, 2022, according to local news.
The government said it has removed the import duty on shrimp broodstock, Artemia, frozen krill, mussels and squid used as feed in hatcheries. It has also waived the import duty on prawn feed used in aquaculture farms.
According to sources in Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), the move is expected to bring down the production cost of aquaculture farmers who have been hit by rampant diseases in the farms, lower prices for shrimps and COVID-19 related logistics problems.
The import duty on vannamei and tiger shrimp broodstock and Artemia was 10%. Removal of this duty will help the industry to import more for higher production. The 15% import duty on frozen krill, squid and mussels used as feed in shrimp hatcheries, has also been removed. Both squid and mussels are available in India, but hatcheries prefer to import as they are free from pathogens.
The import duty of 5% on prawn feed has also been waived. Feed prices escalated in 2021 as soybean became costlier.