The Nepal Foreign Trade Association (NFTA) has once again requested the Indian government to remove countervailing duty imposed on the import of Nepali goods. Nepali exporters have long been lobbying for the same through the government, but India has not yet obliged them.
India has imposed the duty to safeguard its own industries because the level of tariff imposed on import, which is also known as countervailing duty, minimises the chances of imported goods being sold at cheaper rates as compared to the locally produced goods.
Countervailing duty is normally levied on products that receive subsidy during manufacturing in the country of origin. The government of India has imposed such duty on readymade garment products to offset excise duty levied on their own products.
Nepali traders claim India has imposed additional countervailing duty on Nepali garments.
During an interaction with Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae, NFTA officials said that as Nepal's export volume to India, especially of garments, is quite low, it could not affect India's production base, The Himalayan Times has reported..
“The safeguard measure taken by the Indian government has been hurting Nepal's export to India,” said Ramesh Gupta, president of NFTA, adding, “We request the Indian government through the ambassador of India to Nepal to suspend such duties to promote India-Nepal trade.”
Recently, the Indian government has also informed that is preparing to impose anti-dumping tariff on jute products and asked the exporters to present reasons within three months as to why the Indian government should not impose this law on jute products.
Nepali traders have been lobbying with the government to raise the issue during the commerce secretary-level talks between Nepal and India in the last week of May.
During the interaction with the Indian envoy, traders also sought facility for movement of bulk cargo to the railheads of Jogbani (Biratnagar) and Nautanwa (Bhairahawa). Currently, bulk cargoes ferried via rail only arrives at Inland Clearance Depot (ICD) at Birgunj — Nepal's only rail-linked ICD.
Ambassador Rae said he would forward the grievances of Nepali traders to India's ministries concerned. He reiterated that Indian government has been extending its support to Nepal for trade facilitation. (SH)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India