New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS): Aiming to discourage cheap imports from China and encourage domestic manufacturing, Customs duty on imitation jewellery has been enhanced from 20 per cent to 25 per cent in the Union Budget 2023-24 that was presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday.
Budget 2023-24 has a slew of measures to give boost to exports and help accelerate growth of manufacturing in the country. The indirect tax simplification and rationalisation has a clear export-oriented focus.
Following are highlights for the export and manufacturing sector:
The Department of Commerce's recommendation on lab-grown diamond (LGD) has been accepted whereby a research grant of Rs 242 crore over a period of five years to IIT Madras has been approved. This will enable indigenisation of the manufacturing process of LGD.
Further, reduction of duty on LGD seeds from 5 per cent to 'nil' has also been accepted which will result in reducing the cost of production of LGD growers and make our LGD exports globally competitive. The recommendation of the Department of Commerce for creating separate HS codes for LGD has also been accepted. It would enable tracking the international trade in lab-grown diamonds.
Customs duty on articles of precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum has been increased from 20 per cent to 25 per cent, thereby increasing the duty differential to 10 per cent over gold/silver/platinum bars. This will boost domestic manufacturing in the sector and result in import substitution.
Customs duty on imitation jewellery has also been enhanced from 20 per cent to 25 per cent, which will discourage cheap imports from China and encourage domestic manufacturing.
The reduction in import duty on fish meal from 15 per cent to 5 per cent will make the shrimp industry more competitive in the country and boost exports. Fish meal constitutes 40 per cent of the cost of production of shrimps. This will also prevent incidence of juvenile fishing which is used for fish meal in domestic production and will thereby improve our marine fish stock availability.
The recommendation of the Department of Commerce for increase in import duty on compound rubber from 10 per cent to 25 per cent has also been agreed to. This will reduce the import of compound rubber in the country and boost demand and prices for natural rubber produced in India. This will go a long way in supporting our natural rubber farmers and further increase its production in the country.
The Budget has identified the financial sector as a priority sector. Measures to enhance business activities in GIFT IFSC, comprehensive review of existing financial sector regulations and support for digital payments will promote India's financial services exports in the long run.