Government doubles import duty on 328 textile items to 20 per cent

Source: The Economic Times, Aug 07, 2018

NEW DELHI: The government today doubled import duty on as many as 328 textile products to 20 per cent to provide a boost to manufacturing of these items in the country.

A notification to this effect was tabled by Minister of State for Finance Pon Radhakrishnan in the Lok Sabha. The notification said it seeks to “increase customs duty on 328 tariff lines of textile products from the existing rate of 10 per cent to 20 per cent…under Section 159 of the Customs Act, 1962”.

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US sanctions on Iran cast shadow on Indian exports

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Aug 06, 2018

New Delhi: With the new US sanctions against Iran set to come into effect on Tuesday, the fate of India’s rice and tea exports may now depend on the possible exemption of food and medicines from the sanctions and the agreement on oil imports reached between New Delhi and Tehran.

“We are keen to study the details of the US sanctions against Iran. If food and medicines are exempt, it would be good news for exporters of rice and maybe of tea as well. But, exports also depend on India’s continued oil imports from Iran in the absence of which it might be difficult to work out a suitable payment mechanism,” a government official told BusinessLine.

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Higher import duties on 29 US products to be effective from Sep 18: Govt

download (1).jpgSource: The Economic Times, Aug 04, 2018

The government has extend by 45 days the deadline for imposition of higher customs duties on 29 products, including almond, walnut and pulses, imported from the US.

The duties would now come into effect from September 18, according to a notification of the Finance Ministry. As per a June notification, the duty hike was to come into effect from today but some positive expectations from the ongoing talks between the two countries has led to this 45-day extension, according to sources.

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Government imposes safeguard duty on solar cell imports for two years

download (3).jpgSource: Business Standard, Jul 31, 2018

New Delhi: India on Monday imposed safeguard duty on solar cells imports from China and Malaysia for two years to protect domestic players from steep rise in the inbound shipments of the product.This comes following recommendations by the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR), under the commerce ministry.

As per the notification of the finance ministry, 25 per cent safeguard duty have been imposed for July 30 to July 29, 2019, which will gradually come down to 20 per cent during July 30, 2019 to January 29, 2020 and 15 per cent during January 30, 2020 to July 29, 2020.

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US eases export controls for high-tech product sales to India

Source: The Economic Times, Jul 30, 2018

In a major boost to India, the US today eased export controls for high-technology product sales to it by designating it as a Strategic Trade Authorization-1 (STA-1) country, the only South Asian nation to be on the list.

The granting of STA-1 status to India comes after the US recognised India as a “Major Defence Partner” in 2016, a designation that allows India to buy more advanced and sensitive technologies from America at par with that of the US’ closest allies and partners, and ensures enduring cooperation into the future.

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Govt mulls import duty hike on consumer durables

Source: Business Standard, Jul 27, 2018

New Delhi: After the peak goods and services tax (GST) rate on a number of consumer durables was cut, the government on Thursday said it would examine the possibility of hiking the import duty on those products.

“Domestic industry has said it needs protection. We are looking into all the proposals that have come in,” Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) Chairman S Ramesh said when asked if the government was considering hiking the import duty on consumer durables.This assumes importance since the cut in the GST rates in the previous meeting of the GST Council also meant that the integrated GST on imported stuff will also come down, making imports cheaper.

India’s manufacturing weakness hits free trade agreement ambitions

download (1)Source: Business Standard, Jul 25, 2018

New Delhi: Tripura, in India’s North East region, is the country’s second largest producer of rubber. But exporters from Tripura have to lug the rubber sheets out to neighbouring states to send it across the border to Bangladesh. This is despite Tripura having more than one trading station with Bangladesh, says Jayanta Choudhury, senior lecturer teaching rural development at Tripura University.

There are problems of reciprocity with Bangladesh too, but the cumbersome rules for rubber export from Tripura that if sorted would add to the state’s economy handsomely, has been in vogue for decades.

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