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News Indirect Tax-Customs

  • Sep 19, 2019
  • Govt scraps import duty on open cell TV panel to boost manufacturing

    The government has scrapped import duty on open cell TV panel used to make television sets, as it aims to boost local manufacturing by lowering input costs for TV makers who have been complaining about a slump in demand. The decision to remove 5 percent customs duty will help reduce manufacturing cost by around 3 percent but it wasn't immediately clear if all TV makers will pass on the benefit to consumers. Panasonic said it will pass on the benefit of 3-4 percent reduction to consumers. Finance Ministry in a notification said customs duty on "open-cell (15.6-inch and above), for use in the manufacture of Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) and Light Emitting Diode (LED) TV panels" will be nil as against 5 percent import duty previously.

  • Sep 18, 2019
  • Finance ministry scraps import duty on open cell LED TV panel

    The ministry of finance has scrapped the import duty on open cell LED TV panel from 5% to zero in a late night notification issued on Tuesday. This is the most critical component used in LED TV manufacturing accounting for 65-70% of the total production cost. This is going to reduce television prices considering around 60-65% of TV sets sold in the country are locally produced where the TV panel is procured after paying 5% import duty and also going to give a boost to the Make in India initiative. The government notification issued said “open cell (15.6 inch and above) for use in the manufacture of Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) and Light Emitting Diode (LED) TV panels” has been made nil with immediate effect.

  • Aug 27, 2019
  • Panel to take decision within 60-days under tax amnesty scheme: CBIC

    The revenue department on Monday said the designated committee will take a decision within 60 days on declaration made by an assessee for relief under the service tax and excise duty amnesty scheme. Sabka Vishwas - Legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme, 2019, to reduce legacy service tax and central excise cases will become operational for four months beginning September 1. The scheme provides for total waiver of interest, penalty and fine in all cases, and also immunity from prosecution, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) said in FAQs on the scheme. On how will an applicant come to know about the final decision taken by the designated committee on his or her declaration, the FAQs said: "Within sixty days of filing of a declaration, you will be informed electronically about the final decision taken in the matter".

  • Aug 26, 2019
  • India plans extra tax on vegetable oil imports to boost domestic output: Sources

    India plans to impose an extra 5% tax on vegetable oil imports within weeks and use the revenue to help boost the country's stagnating oilseed production, two government sources said. India is the world's biggest importer of vegetable oils, buying nearly $10 billion worth a year, its biggest import after crude oil and gold. The country's consumption of vegetable oils - including palm oil and soyoil - has trebled over the last 20 years as the population grew and incomes rose, while output has increased by less than a third. Now, the government plans to create an oilseed fund by imposing the 5% surcharge, or cess, that will be used to help Indian farmers step up oilseed production, said the sources, who did not wish to be identified in line with government policy.

  • Aug 20, 2019
  • Nirmala Sitharaman rejects demand for rollback of customs duty on newsprint

    Virtually rejecting demand for rollback of the 10 per cent customs duty on newsprint, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said the duty was imposed to promote domestic manufacturers and the importers will have to pay tax on the shipment. Newspaper industry had earlier made a representation to the finance minister for rollback of the Budget’s announcement of customs duty imposition on imported newsprint, arguing the move will put pressure on the bottomline. There was no import duty on newsprint so far. The intention of the government was to make sure that Indian manufacturers of newsprint are promoted as they were suffering due to cheaper import, she said at an event here.

  • Aug 17, 2019
  • Customs to recover export benefits claimed on reimported goods

    Tax authorities will soon start recovery of exports benefits claimed on goods that were reimported in the past under some incentive schemes, a decision that will impact some exporters. The Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) has sent out a directive to tax officials following observations by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) that there was no provision in earlier customs notifications to recover the duty benefit claimed on exports on reimport of the merchandise.

  • Aug 09, 2019
  • India to hike import duty on solar equipment in coming years: Power Minister

    In a bid to encourage domestic manufacturing, India will increase import duty on solar equipment down the value chain in the coming years, Power Minister R K Singh said on Thursday. "Right now safeguard duty is imposed on solar equipment which will be diluted in few years. We will increase tariff on solar equipment down the value chain in coming years," the minister said at a curtain raiser press conference on 3rd Global RE-Invest.

  • Aug 03, 2019
  • Anti-dumping duty likely on certain type of steel from Brazil, China, Germany

    The government may impose an anti-dumping duty of up to USD 3,263 per tonne on imports of a certain type of steel from Brazil, China, and Germany for five years, according to a government notification. The commerce ministry's investigation arm DGTR has recommended the duty after concluding its probe on alleged dumping of 'High Speed Steel of Non Cobalt Grade' being imported from these three countries. This steel is used for making high-speed steel-cutting tools. It has concluded that the product has been exported to India from these nations below its normal value, which was resulting in dumping of the product.

  • Jul 05, 2019
  • Budget 2019: Govt proposes to increase import duty on gold to 12.5 per cent

    The government Friday proposed to increase import duty on gold and precious metal to 12.5 per cent, a move which would make the yellow metal and jewellery expensive in the domestic market. "It is proposed to increase custom duty on gold and other precious metals from 10 per cent to 12.5 per cent," Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her Budget speech. The decision came at a time when the domestic jewellery industry was demanding a cut in the import duty. The commerce ministry, too, had in past recommended for reduction in the duty.

  • Jun 29, 2019
  • Customs regime may be tweaked to boost make in India, exports

    India is likely to revamp its customs duty regime, weeding out some exemptions and correcting inverted duty structures to give a boost to the government’s Make in India manufacturing initiative as well as exports. It is also considering easing of procedures for industry such as anonymous assessments and speedier clearances, while taking steps to curb evasion.

  • Jun 27, 2019
  • CBIC to move to desk-based filing for small taxpayers

    The audit department of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has developed risk parameters for selecting taxpayers to be audited on the basis of annual returns. However, the department has instructed officials to move to desk-based filing for small taxpayers, instead of the traditional method of premise-based audits. In a detailed letter on how to conduct audits, the department said premise-based audit still has to be conducted for medium and large category of taxpayers. Further, such audits should be undertaken in a time-bound manner to ensure completion within the stipulated time period of three months from the commencement of audit, it said. Pratik Jain, partner and leader – indirect tax, PwC India, said: “Such guidelines have been issued for GST audits for the first time. One will have to see whether state governments would come out with similar guidelines for conducting audits of taxpayers under their (SGST) administration. Assigning of risk scores to various dealers for selection of audit is needed for the authorities to focus on cases where possibility of tax leakage is more.”

  • May 21, 2019
  • Importers protest recent circular from Customs office on rough diamonds

    A recent circular from the Customs office has put on hold the import of rough diamonds, rue industry officials. The circular was issued a fortnight earlier. It says importers must specify the origin, size, shape, type, colour, etc, of each such diamond in the bill of entry or shipping bill. The Customs department has said the circular is a sequel to some recent incidents of suspected misdeclaration of value in import and export of rough diamonds.

  • May 13, 2019
  • India’s import tariff very low, not so for US, China

    US President Donald Trump may call India the “tariff king”, but data show New Delhi has exercised “maximum self-restraint” in taxing imports. While India’s average bound rate — or the maximum duty it is allowed to charge under the World Trade Organization (WTO) framework — is as much as 48.5%, its actual applied tariff is as low as 13.8%, according to the WTO data. On a trade-weightage basis, the tariff is even lower — just 7.5%. In contrast, China’s applied tariff of 9.8% is almost as high as its permissible limit (bound rate) of 10%, while South Korea’s is 13.7% against 16.5%. Importantly, at an average of 3.4%, the actual US tariff is as much as it is allowed to slap.

  • May 06, 2019
  • Pouring in: Duty hikes in September 2018 fail to check imports

    The government raised basic customs duties on scores of products in September last year to crack down on “non-essential imports” and contain their debilitating impact on current account deficit (CAD), but the move has barely paid off. As many as eight of the 13 product segments witnessed a rise in purchases from overseas since the tariffs went up, according to the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCIS) data.

  • May 04, 2019
  • India extends retaliatory tariff deadline on US products till May 16

    The Government has extended its deadline to impose retaliatory import duties on 29 products from the United States (US), including almond, walnut and pulses, till May 16. A notification of the Finance Ministry has said that the implementation of increased customs duty on specified imports, originating in the US, has been postponed from May 2 to May 16 this year.

  • Apr 30, 2019
  • Ten customs reforms that will lift our trade

    Here are 10 suggestions to improve Customs’ functioning. Implementing these will have a significant impact. After all, every year, merchandise of value $840 billion (2018 figure) equal to about 30 per cent of the GDP passes through Indian Customs before it could be exported or imported.

  • Apr 27, 2019
  • Retaliatory tariffs: India may extend deadline on 29 US items by 14 days

    India is likely to extend the deadline for imposing retaliatory customs duties on 29 US products, including almond, walnut and pulses, by another 14 days, a source said. The commerce ministry is expected to recommend to the revenue department, under the finance ministry, to extend the deadline for imposing higher tariffs. The current deadline will end on May 2. "The ministry will recommend extension of the deadline on retaliatory tariffs on imports from the US by another 14 days," the source said.

  • Apr 10, 2019
  • Commerce ministry recommends anti-dumping duty of $1,633 per tonne on Indonesian sweetener

    The commerce ministry has recommended an anti-dumping duty of USD 1,633.17 per tonne on Saccharin, a kind of sweetener, from Indonesia to guard domestic manufacturers from cheap imports from the Southeast Asian country. The ministry's investigation arm - Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) - has conducted the probe of alleged dumping of this product following a complaint from Swati Petro Products Ltd.

  • Mar 30, 2019
  • Govt extends deadline to impose higher duties on 29 US products to May 2

    The government on Friday extended the deadline to impose higher customs duties on 29 products, including almond, walnut and pulses, originating in the US. The department of commerce had recommend the finance ministry to extend the deadline for levying higher tariffs worth $235 million, once again as it is considering sending a delegation to the US to resolve bilateral trade issues.

  • Mar 12, 2019
  • Government notifies phased import duty hike on electric PV parts, lithium-ion cells

    The government has notified phased increase in basic customs duty on parts of electric passenger vehicles to be assembled in India to 15 per cent from April 2020 and 10 per cent on imported lithium-ion cells by April 2021 to promote domestic manufacturing of EVs. The notification is part of the road map under the phased manufacturing programme (PMP), and also entails doubling the basic customs duty on completely built units of electric buses and trucks to 50 per cent from April 2020.

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