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The center has decided to postpone the deadline for the imposition of increased customs duties on 29 products being imported from the USA. The products include almond, walnut, and pulses as well. The date on which the increased duties will be effective has been decided as September 18th as per a notification from the Ministry of Finance.
In June, the ministry had given a notification according to which the duty hike was supposed to be effective in August but due to the discussions going on between the two nations a 45 day extension period has been given. The Finance Ministry so extended the August 4 date to September 18.
It was Commerce Ministry’s suggestion to the Revenue Department to change the notification for 45 days to before the amendments in duties are made. Import duties will be raised on 29 imported items from America.
The duty on walnut will be increased from30% to 120%. The duty on Masur daal, chana daal and chickpeas will be raised from 30% to 70%. The tax on lentils will be raised from 30% to 40%. This decision of duty hike came after the US President decided to impose high duties on imported steel and aluminum items. Higher duties will be put on other products which include boric acid, phosphoric acid, diagnostic reagent, flat-rolled products of iron, and certain flat-rolled products of stainless steel.
The increased duty by the US has affected steel exports by USD 198.6 million and aluminum shipments by USD 42.4 million for India. About USD 1.5 billion worth of steel and aluminum products are exported from India to the US every year. The 2016-17 exports of India to the US were of value USD 42.21 billion and imports were worth USD 22.3 billion. India has also raised the issue in WTO (World Trade Organization) over the high duties imposed by the US on steel and aluminum products.