Imports Current Affairs

Union Government scraps import duty on wheat  

The Union Government has waived the import duty on wheat to zero from 10 per cent for an indefinite period.

This move aims to improve domestic availability in the wake of rising prices and concerns about the wheat crop in 2016-17.

The duty was waived because of uncertainty over the wheat output this year. Despite a rise in area sown, questions are raised over condition of the wheat crop, low fertiliser and pesticide use due to and fears of a warm winter.

The waiving of import duty will make wheat imports (especially from Australia and Ukrainian) considerably cheaper. This will fuel imports to over 6 million tonnes in 2016-17. This will be the highest wheat imports in the 10 years.

Background

The wheat production in the country will be around 93.50 million tonnes in 2016-17 as per the government estimates. However, many experts have pegged the figures around 90 million tonnes due to year-on-year droughts in 2014 and 2015. Moreover, Union Government’s own wheat stocks are at an all-time low due to less procurement.

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India imposed Anti-dumping duty on Linen imports from China and Hong Kong

On 17 August the Finance Ministry has imposed definitive anti-dumping duty on ‘flax’ or ‘linen’ fabric imports from China and Hong Kong for period of five years.

Accordingly the revenue department has imposed anti-dumping duty of 0.75 US dollars per metre on ‘flax’ fabric imported from China and 0.65 UD dollars per meter fabric imported from Hong Kong.

The duty was recommended by Directorate General of Anti-Dumping Duty (DGAD) followed by petition filed by Jaya Shree Textiles, a unit of Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd.

It should be noted here that the anti-dumping duty is applicable only on those flax fabrics with flax content of over 50 per cent.

About Linen:

Linen yarn is spun from the long fibers found just behind the bark in the multi-layer stem of the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum). ‘Flax’ is synonym for ‘linen’ which is primly used in the production of linen thread and fabric, which is a popular choice for warm-weather clothing.

Flax plants are cultivated for linen fiber in a number of countries including Poland, Belgium, Austria, France, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, the Belgium’s flax plants yarns finest quality of linen.

Note: In year 2015 India had imposed anti-dumping duty on some of following products exported by China – Vitamin-C, Steel imports, CFL lamp, fibre glass, Vitamin E, Electronic Calculators, USB Flash Drives, Measuring tapes, Cast Aluminium Alloy Wheels or Alloy Road Wheels and many other products.

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