India has increased customs duty on 29 products, including iron and steel products and pulses, imported from the US. It is being seen as a retaliatory action against the hike by the US government.
This duty hike would be effected with immediate effect.
It may be recalled that the United States had been hiking import duties, for the products, which are destined to India. In another move, The European Union had also levied higher import duties on a number of products emanating from the US. Next, China is also contemplating similar action.
In a notification by the ministry of finance, the import duty on chickpeas, Bengal gram (chana) and masur dal have been increased. It was 30 per cent earlier, which has been increased to 70 per cent now, while that on lentils has been hiked at the level of 10 per cent to 40 per cent.
Almonds which are imported from the US will now be taxed on import duty at Rs 120/kg which was Rs 100/kg earlier. Almonds in the shell will be duties at the rate of Rs 42/kg as against Rs 35/kg.
Duty on walnut which will be in the shell will get customs duty at the rate of 120 per cent which was at 30 per cent earlier. Even US apples will attract an import duty of 75 per cent as against 50 per cent in existing slabs.
Boric acid has been categorized to 17.50 per cent duty, while the duty on phosphoric acid has been increased to 20 per cent. It was 10 per cent earlier.
Diagnostic reagents will be treated to 20 per cent import duty, which has just been doubled. Binders for foundry moulds has been hiked to 17.5 per cent.
Rolled products on iron, which are flat have been raised to 27.50 per cent from 15 per cent. Some other flat types of rolled products on stainless steel would now be taxed at 22.50 per cent duty which were in 15 per cent duty regime earlier.
The Indian government has proposed to hike customs duty on specified motorcycles, which primarily include Harley Davidson and Triumph, to 50 per cent.
For automobiles and earth moving equipment, the duty has been raised to 25 per cent from 15 per cent.
People believe that on several products such as pulses, the rise in the duty is very steep while for iron and steel products, the increase is 50 per cent of the existing rate.
It is said that the duty hike by India would have tariff implications for the US.
Earlier in March 2018, the US President Donald Trump had imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items. This move that has sparked fears of a global trade war.
India has said the duty imposed by the US may affect steel exports by $198.6 and aluminium shipments by $42.4 million. India has appealed to the WTO against Washington for dispute settlement over the imposition of import duties by US government on few Indian items such as steel and aluminium.
India usually exports steel and aluminium products to the tune of about $1.5 billion to the US every year. India’s exports to the US in the preceding fiscal year was assessed at $42.21 billion, while imports were $22.3 billion.