Govt planning to hike customs duty on imported Chinese products

Govt planning to hike customs duty on imported Chinese products

As tensions rise between India and China, the battlefield is shifting from LAC (Line of Actual Control) to the economic corridors of the country. Finance Ministry is considering raising customs duty on a number of Chinese products.

Discussions are on between the Commerce Ministry and Finance Ministry officials about hiking customs duty on a number of products imported from China.

Although nothing has been finalized yet, the focus would be on cutting down the import of non-essential items. The government is looking at reducing imports from China which currently stands at 14%. Between April 2019 and February 2020, India's import bill with China stood at $15.5 billion.

Discussions are also on to hike customs duty on Chinese goods in a bid to deter Indians from using Chinese goods which mainly include - watches, electronics, furniture, toys, clocks, musical instruments, sports goods, mattresses, plastic items, iron, and steel items and metals.

The move to raise duty also assumes significance as the government is working on ways to boost local manufacturing and promote the Make in India mission.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given a call for Atmanirbhar Bharat while announcing the Rs 20 lakh crore package as he asked Indians to be self-reliant. His call was reiterated by Ladakh-based innovator and educationist Sonam Wangchuk in the wake of the standoff between Indian and Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.

His call gathered steam across the country as his video went viral and ‘Boycott China’ started trending on social media. This was followed by a call from the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) to boycott Chinese goods by strengthening Indian manufacturing and promotion of indigenous goods. CAIT has prepared a preliminary list of 3,000 items that account for significant imports from China but where local alternatives are available.