Import curbs likely on over 350 items to boost ‘Make in India’
In addition, departments are looking into suggestions of waiving the requirement for global tender for government procurement in sectors where it thinks there is sufficient domestic capacity to execute a contract, sources told TOI. Several ministries such as textiles, electronics and IT and commerce and industry have been asked to initiate action on the identified list of products.
The moves are part of the government’s thrust to ‘Make-in-India’ scheme, for which it has been working on ways to discourage imports.
Going forward, the government intends to pursue the plan vigorously and first up will be a quality control order for toys, such as dolls. Some of the duty hikes are expected to be announced in the budget, although officials are not ruling out midterm correction.Sources said that in segments such as electronics, the list will be drawn up carefully, recognising that imports of certain products need to be discouraged. A large part of India’s trade deficit is now due to the import of electronic goods and the government believes that the decision to sign the World Trade Organisation’s first Information Technology Agreement, allowing duty-free import of several electronic goods, was responsible for it.
Several economists have, however, warned against using high import duties as a tool to restrict imports, arguing that it impacts the consumer adversely, who has to shell out more. Besides, inefficient domestic manufacturers get protection.