The Modi government must simplify all the taxes, together, in one stroke, writes Sushil Kedia. Here's how.
The government says the hike in duties is justified as it benefits the domestic manufacturing industry
According to sources, the Agriculture Ministry has moved a proposal to impose import duty on chana as it fears that the prices of this rabi crop could fall sharply to the disadvantage of farmers.
"The reduction in duty on imported LNG will benefit standard gas based steel plants and encourage more sponge iron producers to adopt the gas based production route which is more environments friendly," the steel ministry said in a statement.
Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Surendra Mehta, Director of IBJA said that the organisation is looking at an import duty cut because it is damaging the organised sector as the illegal import in the country is creating a big price difference with the unorganised players.
The government is expected to announce steps like cut in the gold import duty and incentives to set up gems and jewellery parks in the next Budget to promote growth of the industry.
Steel makers like Tata Steel and Visa Steel have sought removal of import duty and clean energy cess on coking coal and giving thrust to domestic infrastructure forecasting tepid global demand next year.
Ahead of the Union Budget 2017-18, the Steel Ministry has sought reduction in import duty on both coking coal and nickel -- vital components of steel making -- a move that may revive the sector, a top official said.
The government does not have any immediate plans to cut import duty on sugar as the country would have sufficient supply of the sweetener considering fall in consumption this year and a likely bumper crop next year.
The government has recently scrapped import duty on wheat to boost domestic supplies and curb price rise. The private players has imported more than 1.7 million tonnes of wheat so far and more shipments are expected at zero Customs duty.
The government is likely to lower the import duty on gold to 6 percent from 10 percent, reports CNBC-TV18 quoting agencies. Sanjeev Bhatia, CFO of PC Jewellers feels this is a pleasant this will help plug the price gap between domestic and international prices.
The sharp fall in the gold imports may lead to a cut in the import duty on the yellow metal, reports CNBC-TV18, qouting a government official.
The government will import 90,000 tonnes of chana dal through state-owned trading firm MMTC and examine import duty on sugar to boost supply and check prices of the two essential commodities that continue to rule high.
German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp believes that slapping anti-dumping duty on import of silicon steel, a raw material used for making specialised electrical steel, can impact the engineering giant's expansion plans in the country.
Stainless steel flat product imports hit a record 5.32 lakh tonne (LT) in 2015-16, which is 25 per cent of the total domestic demand of about 24 LT.
This government has managed to keep the cereals prices under check and it would require similar strategies to keep a tab on pulses and vegetables if the monsoon fails to be plentiful, says Devendra Pant, the chief economist at India Ratings.
Sources told CNBC-TV18 that there may be a cut in the import duty on sugar in order to curb prices and a ban may be imposed on the export of the commodity if prices rise further.
With retail prices crossing Rs 40/kg, the government has taken several steps, including imposition of stock holding limits on sugar traders and withdrawal of sugar output subsidy of Rs 4.50/kg to mills, in the last few weeks to check the price rise.
"We will be withdrawing (import) duties on that oil. If that oil comes in the country then bio-diesel will be made from it," Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Gadkari said while addressing Global Partnership Summit on Smart Cities by industry body Assocham.
"There is already a high duty (on gold imports) now so doing higher and higher import duties can in fact become counter-productive, more smuggling avenues etc and that is why we do not want to try and take further aggressive measures from our end," Additional Secretary in the Commerce Ministry Arvind Mehta said.
"Domestic companies are reporting operating losses as imports are rising," Kumar said on Friday, but added he could not be certain that the finance ministry would accept the proposal.
In September, the government had raised import duty on crude edible oils to 12.5 percent from 7.5 percent, while the duty on refined edible oils was increased to 20 percent from 15 percent.
From April 1, the FCI started offloading wheat under the open market sale scheme (OMSS) to liquidate surplus stocks. It fixed a reserve price of wheat at Rs 1,550 per quintal in Punjab, Haryana as well as Madhya Pradesh and with additional freight charges in other states.
Abhijit Pati, CEO-Aluminum, Vedanta says aluminium‘s London Metal Exchange (LME) price has slid down to sub1600 level, one of the lowest level of 6 yrs.
Satish Pai, Deputy Managing Director (MD) of Hindalco told CNBC-TV18 that the aluminum industry would like a 5-10 percent hike in the import duty to ensure minimum damages to domestic manufacturers.