Govt may resort to more import duty cuts to check inflation: Nath

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New Delhi, Mar 31 (UNI) Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath, a member of the Cabinet Committee on Prices meeting this evening in the backdrop on price rise, today said the government may resort to further cuts in duties on import of essential commodities to tame inflation.

The government had recently effected a maringal increase in prices of petrol and diesel but refused to take a call on cutting import duties in spite of spiralling oil price.

But alarmed over recent surge in inflation which reached the 13-month high inflation mark of 6.68 per cent in the middle this month, breaching by a wide margin the Reserve Bank's "tolerance limit" of 5 per cent, Mr Kamal Nath did not rule out the possibility of cutting import duties on oil.

"Yes, we are looking at further cuts. There is increase in international oil prices and it has to be met with import duty caliberation which we are considering," Mr Nath told reporters here.

The government has already slashed import duty on edible oils, including palm oil from 45 per cent to 20 per cent. It has also restricted exports of non-Basmati rice to strengthen domestic supplies.

It has also withdrawn export incentives on 40 to 50 items, including steel and chemical products, which were earlier available to exporters under duty entitlement passbook scheme(DEPS).

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