Economy

Centre likely to increase import duties on 50 items: Report

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on January 25, 2020 Published on January 25, 2020

The Centre has indicated that it may increase import duties on as many as 50 items as the administration goals to revive the crumbling state of the Indian economy. The revelation comes ahead of the Budget 2020 which will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1. The government targets to generate around $56 billion worth of imports especially from China, according to news report.

"Our aim is to curb imports of non-essential items," said an official, who wished anonymity. He further added that the hike in import duties would provide a level playing field for local manufacturers - hit by cheap imports from China, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and other countries that enjoy trade pacts with India, the report revealed.

As International Monetary Fund (IMF) trims India’s growth projection, Finance Minister may announce an increase in customs duties on items including chemicals, handicrafts, jewellery, wooden furniture, electronic goods among others.

The move might impact smartphone manufacturers who import chargers or other components for assembling such as vibrator motors and ringers.

The decision of increasing customs duties could also jeopardise the plan of tech companies like IKEA, who wished to expand their footprints in South-Asian sub-continent. IKEA had previously flagged higher Indian customs duties as a challenge.

The government might hike 5-10% on tariff duties on imported products, as per sources.

Last year in July, the government increased the import tax on more than 75 items, including gold and automobile parts, in its post-election budget.

India's goods imports, which had been growing faster than exports in the last several years, fell some 8.90% during the April-December period from year-earlier levels, compared to a roughly 2% decline in exports.

Published on January 25, 2020

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.