Government doubles import duty on wheat to 20%
The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) under Union Finance Ministry has doubled import duty on wheat to 20% from 10% to curb cheap shipments and give positive price signal to farmers in ongoing Rabi season. It also imposed import duty of 50% on peas to check cheaper shipments from countries like Canada to boost domestic prices. The import duty on peas has been imposed to curb shipments and boost domestic prices.
In the last two years India, world’s second biggest wheat producer has been importing wheat after local production fell due to successive droughts. India had imported 5.75 million tonnes of wheat in 2016/17 fiscal year ended on March. Doubling of import duty aims to give positive price signal and encourage farmers to grow wheat in more area as farmers have started planting of rabi (winter) wheat crop. Moreover, Government does not want wheat growers to follow way of pulses farmers who shifted to other crops this kharif season as prices remained low just before sowing period owing to bumper crop last year.
India produced record 22 million tonnes of pulses in 2016-17 crop year which led to fall in domestic prices, even below MSP. Moreover, country also imported about 5 million tonnes of pulses last fiscal.
It is a tax collected on imports and some exports by customs authorities of country. It is usually based on value of goods that are imported. Depending on context, import duty may also be referred to as tariff, import tax, customs duty and import tariff.
The purpose of import duty is to raise income for local government and to give market advantage to locally grown or produced goods that are not subject to import duties. It is sometimes used as tool to penalize a particular nation by charging high import duties on its products.