The government may tweak customs duty in the Budget next week on several goods, including furniture raw materials, copper scrap, certain chemicals, telecom equipment and rubber products, to promote domestic manufacturing and exports, sources said.
The sources said that while import duty could be tweaked on more than 20 products such as cut and polished diamonds, rubber goods, leather garments, telecom equipment and carpet, customs duty could be removed on select raw materials like wood in rough, swan wood and hard board used for furniture manufacturing and copper concentrate. “Expensive raw materials impact India’s price competitiveness in the international market. The country’s exports of furniture is very low [about 1%], while countries like China and Vietnam are major players in the sector,” they added.
The government may also consider reducing customs duties on coal tar pitch, and copper scrap, while raising the levies on certain finished goods like refrigerator, washing machine and clothes dryer, one of the sources said.
The government is already taking steps to boost domestic manufacturing such as introduction of production-linked incentives scheme (PLI) for several sectors including air conditioners and LED lights.
“Tweaking of duties on these goods would help promote self-reliant India campaign and boost domestic manufacturing,” they added.
Last year, the government increased import taxes on several products such as furniture, toys, and footwear.