From Sunday, India will levy higher customs duty on 28 products imported from the United States. The move is a response to higher tariffs imposed by Washington on Indian products like steel and aluminium.
These 28 items include almonds, apples and walnuts. While import duty on walnut has been raised to 120% from 30%, that on chickpeas, Bengal gram and masur dal has been increased to 70%. India will get additional revenue of $217 million from these imports. Earlier, the list included 29 products but artemia, a kind of shrimp, was later removed.
The Central Board of Indirect taxes and Customs made the announcement on Saturday. The notification will “implement the imposition of retaliatory duties on 28 specified goods originating in or exported from USA and preserving the existing MFN rate for all these goods for all countries other than USA”.
India had issued an order in June 2018 to raise import taxes on a number of US items after Washington refused to exempt it from higher steel and aluminium tariffs. But New Delhi has delayed raising tariffs eight times as the two nations engaged in trade talks. India’s exports to the US in 2017-’18 was $47.9 billion, while imports were at $ 26.7 billion, reported PTI.
India’s move comes days after Washington withdrew key trade privileges for New Delhi. In March, US President Donald Trump had announced his decision to remove India from the Generalized System of Preferencesprogramme. India was the biggest beneficiary of the GSP programme which allowed for $5.6 billion, around Rs 3,896 crore, worth of Indian exports to enter the country duty-free. Under the GSP programme, certain products can enter the US duty-free if beneficiary developing countries meet the eligibility criteria established by its Congress.