Govt likely to hike import curbs on various items, will spare gold

c.jpgSource: Business Standard, Sept 25, 2018

New Delhi: The Central government is likely to increase import duties on precious stones, certain types of steel and electronics but will spare gold to prevent smuggling, a finance ministry official said on Monday. The official, who declined to be named, told reporters the main reason for the planned increase in duties is to curb an inflow of items that normally move between China and the US, but could be redirected because of the tariffs imposed by the two countries. The government is also trying to curb imports of “non-essential” items to support the rupee, Asia’s worst performing currency, and considering cutting oil import. The rupee has fallen around 12 per cent this year, forcing the government to scramble for steps to arrest the fall. News agency NewsRise reported on Monday that the finance ministry was considering a proposal to float a special gold deposit programme to cut imports of the metal by recycling the metal inside the country. India is the world’s second-biggest gold buyer, after China, and spent $3.64 billion on such imports last month. The steel ministry has proposed increasing the effective import duty on some steel products to 15 per cent from current rates ranging from 5 per cent to 12.5 per cent. Among other steps being considered to soften the blow from high crude oil prices and declining rupee is cutting oil purchases, said Indian Oil Corp (IOC) Chairman Sanjiv Singh. State refiners are looking at optimising crude oil inventory levels without in any way affecting fuel supplies in the domestic market, he told PTI on Monday.

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India-South Asia trade has potential to triple to $62 billion, says World Bank

bSource: The Economic Times, Sept 24, 2018

Deeper regional trade and connectivity has the potential to more than triple India’s trade with its South Asian neighbors, World Bank said in a report on Monday.

In a report titled ‘A Glass Half Full: The Promise of Regional Trade in South Asia’, the bank estimates India’s potential trade in goods with South Asia at $62 billion against its actual trade of $19 billion, which is a mere 3% of its global trade and about $43 billion below its potential.

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Commerce Ministry rues steep decline in export credit

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Sept 23, 2018

New Delhi: The Commerce Ministry has decided to take up with the RBI, the Finance Ministry and banks, the problems faced by exporters due to a sharp drop in export credit despite an increase in exports.“Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu will hold meetings with the Department of Financial Services in the Finance Ministry, the RBI and leading bankers to discuss ways to increase credit flow to exporters,” a government official told BusinessLine.

In July 2018 (up to the 20th), export credit provided by banks fell about 47 per cent to ₹21,900 crore compared to the same month last year. Overall lending to the priority sector, however, increased 7.5 per cent during the month, as per the latest RBI data. Even compared to March this year, there has been a 22.7 per cent drop in export credit.

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Easier tax refund regime for exporters in the works

download (1).jpgSource: The Economic Times, Sept 21, 2018

The government is examining the tax refund mechanism for exporters under goods and services tax (GST) and may announce some measures over the next few days to streamline the process and speed up repayments. “Some measures are being looked at…,” a senior official told ET, adding that these could be unveiled by the weekend.

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Government may extend deadline for imposition of higher duties on 29 US products

Source: The Economic Times, Sept 17, 2018

The government will further extend the deadline for the imposition of higher customs duties on 29 products, including almond, walnut and pulses, imported from the US, a senior official said Monday. In June, India decided to impose retaliatory tariffs from August 4. But it was extended by another 45 days till September 18.

“We are still in discussion with the US authorities. The deadline will be extended tonight,” the government official said, adding that the deadline will be extended for another 45 days until November 2.

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INDIA’S FOREIGN TRADE: August 2018

Source: IBEF.org, Sept 17, 2018

New Delhi: India’s overall exports (Merchandise and Services combined) in April-August 2018-19* are estimated to be USD 221.83 Billion, exhibiting a positive growth of 20.70 per cent over the same period last year. Overall imports in April-August 2018-19* are estimated to be USD 269.54 Billion, exhibiting a positive growth of 21.01 per cent over the same period last year.

  1. MERCHANDISE TRADE

EXPORTS (including re-exports)

Exports in August 2018 were US $ 27.84 Billion, as compared to US $ 23.36 Billion in August 2017, exhibiting a positive growth of 19.21 per cent. In Rupee terms, exports were Rs. 1,93,624.74 Crore in August 2018, as compared to Rs. 1,49,398.90 Crore in August 2017, registering a positive growth of 29.60 per cent.

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Edible oil import likely to fall first time in 7 years on duty hike

download (4).jpgSource: Business Standard, Sept 15, 2018

Mumbai: India’s edible oil import is estimated to register a fall this oil year (from November, 2017 to October, 2018), first time in seven years. Import of vegetable oils (largely edible oil and some non-edible oil for industrial use) have been on the rise for many years and almost tripled in ten years to 15.4 million tons last year.

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