FM: Higher import duty on goods will boost self-reliance

On Tuesday, the Union Finance Minister said that the Union Budget 2022-23 was based on the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ philosophy, also known as the self-reliant Bharat. As a part of it, the customs duties on imported goods were hiked, also manufactured in India. It would encourage people to purchase the Indian correspondent.

Nirmala Sitharaman attended an interactive session called ‘Atmanirbhar Arthavyavastha’, arranged by the Karnataka BJP unit. 

Nirmala Sitharaman, however, maintained that the customs duties had not been hiked on the goods manufactured domestically. While many exclaimed that the FM has cut down duties here but increased it somewhere else, customs duty was hiked on imports. It led to a few imported products becoming costlier. 

The FM stated that the government increased the duty to make the imported products expensive. It would encourage people to buy indigenous products.

She apologised, saying that Indians may have to buy Indian made products wherever available instead of importing. The government has not increased duties on those produced domestically.

She clarified that the customs duty had not been hiked on such vital products as semiconductors. These are crucial but not produced in India. Sitharaman also stated that the philosophy of the Atmanirbhar is a guiding principle. However, it is not blindly applied such that the philosophy hurts Indian interests.

She also said there is enough logical application to make such critical and essential products costly for domestic manufacturing. However, the government would ensure that a product is not imported if manufactured in India.

Nirmala Sitharaman further elaborated that the Atma Nirbhar Bharat drives the decisions on custom duty and the productivity-linked incentive (PLI) scheme. Under the PLI scheme, 14 sectors are selected as the champion sectors. Huge money is being allocated to provide financial assistance for every incremental unit produced.

The Finance Minister further said that we must create enough foreign investors to invest in India rather than China. She exclaimed that the ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ initiative is based on capacity building and must be looked at globally. She stated that India produces wheat over the domestic requirement. Due to the ongoing turmoil in Ukraine, there is a shortage of wheat in that country. India can export wheat in good quantity to that region.

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, don’t hesitate to contact the writer at annapoorna.m@cleartax.in.

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