NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday opted to wait for six weeks to impose additional duties on close to 29 American goods to counter the impact of higher levies on steel and aluminium exports, hoping that the US administration will come good on its promise to address India’s concerns.
The revenue department, which notified the rate changes, however, spared high-end motorcycles from a duty increase, a move that will benefit Harley-Davidson. A team from the US is expected to hold deliberations with Indian authorities next week to sort out niggling trade issues.
In a notification in May, the government had said that the additional levy would be effective Thursday. On Thursday, the revenue department notified the new tariffs on 30 products, effective August 4, for goods originating from the US.
Last week, commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu had said India and the US have agreed to a detailed discussion to address New Delhi’s concerns, following his meeting with top trade officials in the Trump administration. India is seeking a removal of the additional import duty on steel and aluminium products imposed by the US, apart from restoration of benefits under the generalised system of preferences. India is also seeking redressal of its concerns related to a tighter visa regime. The additional duty on steel and aluminium are expected to leave a $241-million dent on Indian exports.
Indian officials said there are concerns over the US government’s plan to restrict import of auto parts, which need to be addressed.
The revenue department notification has proposed a steep hike in import duties on chickpeas, Bengal gram (chana) and masur dal, which are to be increased to 70% from 30% earlier, while duty on lentils has been hiked to 40% from 30%.
Shelled almonds imported from the US will attract import duty at Rs 120 a kg from August 4, compared to Rs 100 a kg at present, while the import duty on almonds in shell is to be increased from Rs 35 a kg to Rs 42.