November 29, 2017 / 11:16 PM / in 3 months

Canada decries India's 'discriminatory treatment' over pulse crops

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Canada on Wednesday accused India of “discriminatory treatment” against it in a dispute over C$1.1 billion ($855.10 million) worth of Canadian pulse crop exports.

Canada normally ships much of the peas, lentils and other protein-rich pulse crops its farmers grow to India, where they are a staple of many diets.

But earlier this month, India announced a 50 percent tariff on dry pea imports from all countries, causing prices to fall in Canada, the world’s biggest exporter.

Canadian shipments to India have also been interrupted by India’s requirement that crops be fumigated for insects in the country of origin.

FILE PHOTO - Canada's Minister of international trade Francois-Philippe Champagne speaks during an interview with Reuters on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Danang, Vietnam November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

India normally gives Canada an exemption from the policy, as the country’s cold climate does not allow certain pests to survive, but that exemption expired on Sept. 30.

“Progress has stalled and a solution to this important issue remains elusive,” said a joint statement by Canadian Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, adding that Canada is “deeply concerned and disappointed” with India’s regulatory and tariff decisions.

India has granted exemptions to other exporting countries from the fumigation policy until the end of the year, “indicating that India is applying discriminatory treatment to Canada,” the ministers said.

New Delhi is committed to doubling Indian farmers’ incomes and reducing imports, a senior official with India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry told Reuters last week.

($1 = 1.2864 Canadian dollars)

Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; editing by G Crosse

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