"No influence on the price": India on removal of additional tariffs on US products

There is a regular duty of 50% and Rs 50 per kg minimum import price for apples. (Representative)

New Delhi:

The government said on Tuesday that the removal of additional retaliatory tariffs on imports of US apples, walnuts and almonds will not result in any negative impact on domestic producers.

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that the opposition parties, especially the Congress, are politicizing the issue without having a complete understanding of the issue.

There is a regular duty of 50 per cent and Rs 50 per kg minimum import price for apples.

“We have just removed the retaliatory duty…the move would have no impact on domestic apple producers. There will also be no impact on prices. Consumers will get more choice,” Goyal told reporters here.

Earlier in the day, Commerce Ministry Additional Secretary Peeyush Kumar said the most favored nation duty of 50 percent and 100 percent will continue to apply to US apples and walnuts as only an additional 20 percent duty has been removed.

There is no reduction in the Most Favored Nation (MFN) duty on apples, walnuts and almonds, which still applies to all imported products, including products originating in the United States, he added.

“This measure will not result in any adverse impact on domestic apple, walnut and almond producers. Rather, it will result in competition in the premium market segment of apples, walnuts and almonds, thereby ensuring better quality at competitive prices for our Indian consumers, ” he told reporters here.

The market share of the US apples fell as other countries benefited from the imposition of additional retaliatory tariffs on imports of apples and walnuts from the US.

He added that removal of additional duties will now ensure fair competition among the countries exporting these products to India. The clarification has come amid the opposition Congress criticizing the government’s decision to reduce the import tax on apples.

The Center has reduced the import duty on the Washington apple, which will also directly affect the state’s horticulture industry thereby causing losses to them, the Congress said.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Monday appealed to the Center to reconsider its decision to remove the additional duty on apples, walnuts and almonds imported from the US, saying the government should try to please its own people instead of pleasing foreigners.

(With the exception of the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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