As part of the imposition of higher import duties, New Delhi has notified higher tariffs on several products.
The government Tuesday extended the deadline to impose retaliatory customs duties on 29 US products, including almond, walnut and pulses, till April 1. As discussions are going on between India and the US for a proposed trade package, the commerce ministry had asked its finance counterpart to again defer the implementation of a notification to impose high duties on US products. A notification said that implementation of increased customs duty on specified imports originating in USA has been postponed from March 2, 2019 to April 1, 2019. In June 2017, India decided to impose retaliatory tariffs after the US imposed high customs duties on certain steel and aluminium products.
As part of the imposition of higher import duties, New Delhi has notified higher tariffs on several products. While import duty on walnut has been hiked to 120 per cent from 30 per cent currently, duty on chickpeas, Bengal gram (chana) and masur dal will be raised to 70 per cent, from 30 per cent currently. Levy on lentils will be increased to 40 per cent, from 30 per cent.
Senior officials of India and the US are in discussions to finalise a kind of trade package. Both sides are holding two track discussions — to increase trade in short and medium term, and identify long-term trade potentials. India is pressing for exemption from high duty imposed by the US on certain steel and aluminium products, resumption of export benefits to certain domestic products under their generalised system of preferences (GSP), greater market access for its products from agriculture, automobile, automobile components and engineering sectors.
On the other hand, the US is demanding greater market access through cut in import duties for its agriculture goods, dairy products, medical devices, IT and communication items. India’s exports to the US in 2017-18 stood at USD 47.9 billion, while imports were USD 26.7 billion. The trade balance is in favour of India.