The government is likely to raise customs duty on various components in Budget 2021-22 which will be presented by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today. According to officials, this is aimed at providing an impetus to the Narendra Modi-led NDA government's Make in India initiative.
Rajat Bose, partner at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and Company said that the central government has increased customs duty on certain items in the last four-five years but that might not affect imports significantly. Bose also told ANI, "So, I think that it will be there at the back of mind of the government. I believe that they would still continue to increase customs duty on raw material components. They might look at sectors such as automobile, consumer electronics and fast moving consumer goods."
The government may also consider reducing customs duties on coal tar pitch and copper scrap while raising duties on finished goods like refrigerator, clothes dryer and washing machine. Centre is also taking steps to bolster domestic manufacturing such as introduction of production-linked incentive scheme (PLI) for sectors like air conditioners, smartphones and LED lights.
Sitharaman had announced a hike in customs duty on an array of products like refrigerating equipment, colour TV and chargers, freezers, toys, furniture, electronic goods, headphones and earphones, grinders and mixers in her previous Budget speech. The Finance Minister had said then, "Customs duty is being reduced on certain inputs and raw materials while being revised upward on certain goods, which are being made domestically."
While announcing the hike, the Union Minister had claimed that the Make in India initiative has begun giving returns and India is now making world-class goods and exporting such products.