Both trade & finance ministries back duty cuts: Commerce secretary BVR Subrahmanyam

Commerce secretary BVR Subrahmanyam on Wednesday said that there is a fair amount of understanding between the commerce and industry ministry, and finance ministry that duty cuts help exports.

Budget 2022-23 has reduced customs duties on chemicals that will enable exports while rationalised duties for the electronics sector would boost domestic manufacturing, he said.

“I think there is a fair amount of understanding between commerce and finance (ministries) that actually reducing tariffs on inputs helps exports a lot. So having a very high tariff regime does not help and I think that message is coming through very clearly in the Budget,” Subrahmanyam said.

His statement assumes significance as the two ministries are often at loggerheads on duty reduction as it leads to revenue loss for the country.

For the gems and jewellery sector, he said that import duty on cut and polished diamonds and gemstones to 5% and zero on sawn (or raw) diamond will help make India jewellery hub of the world. “Due to Covid pandemic, a lot of small value jewellery is traded on e-commerce, a lot of these orders are happening online. The Finance Minister has made clear that in the next couple of months, by June, we will come out with easy e-commerce rules for gems and jewellery business,” he said.

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