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Budget 2020: CBIC chief says higher import duties will spur Make in India initiative

Updated : February 03, 2020 03:13 PM IST

The 2020 Union budget presented last week introduced a number of import duties on items like ceiling fans, air conditioners, tea and coffee makers, among others. The move was made in a bid to push the government's Make in India initiative, John Joseph, the chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) told CNBC-TV18. He added that supporting the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector will push economic growth going forward.

“The idea is not to get much more amount of revenue. It is to see if it gives an impetus to the Make in India project. The items geysers, heaters, freezers, all these items are being manufactured in this country. In these items not only that we are very good exporters too. So we want to give a small sort of a support to them so the MSME sector can improve, it can improve the gross domestic product (GDP), it will be giving a lot of employment to the people also. So it is an economy improvement measure,” he said.

Joseph contended that the increase in import duties will fuel inflation in the country. “I don’t think so. As far as EV [electric vehicle] issues are concerned, this has been done by the ministry and we have only been agreeing with the ministry to a certain extent. The components are still cheap, only the completely built items are having the problem. As far as we are concerned, we would like the industry to manufacture all these things over here.”

He added that overall revenue collections will see a definite increase in the next fiscal. “Greenshoots are coming. We will be going after the gentlemen who are gaming the system and we will be supporting the honest taxpayers so that their things will be smoother coming with the new return system, electronic invoice and everything. The life of an honest taxpayer will become easy."
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