Modi’s tariff war with US: Dal to get expensive for poor from August

The steps taken by the Modi government to enthusiastically show a ‘56-inch chest’ to the United States will hit India’s poor where it hurts. Matar, masoor dals are set to get 50 to 60% more expensive

Photo by Adarsh Gupta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Adarsh Gupta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
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NH Economic Bureau

India’s ‘nationalist’ media outlets are so busy putting out the chest-thumping rhetoric that the Modi Government has shown American President Donald Trump his place in the ongoing Indo-US trade war, that they have been unable to see the impact the Modi Government’s decisions will have on the poor, for whom dal is going to get more expensive.

The United States in March increased import duty on some goods which India exports to the US. The Trump administration has been increasing import duty on goods coming from many countries. So also with Indian steel, on which the US increased the import duty by 25%, and aluminum by 10%. Due to these new rates implemented on March 9, India has had an additional burden of $250 million or about ₹1,650 crore annually. India exports steel and aluminum products worth about ₹10,000 crore every year to the US.

According to Finance Ministry notification, there are many varieties of dals on which import duty has been increased from 30 to 60%. This decision of the government is likely to affect the common man’s pocket in festive season

In response to this, India had given a list of 30 items to the World Trade Organisation last week, on which it can increase import duty up to 50%. Now the Ministry of Finance has notified the increase in import duty. The new rates will be effective from August 4. According to the notification, there are many varieties of dals on which import duty has been increased from 30 to 60%. This decision of the government is likely to affect the common man's pocket in festive season. According to the notification issued on behalf of the Finance Ministry, 60% duty has been imposed on the quantity of gram and gram grains imported from the United States. Similarly, this duty has increased to 30% on other pulses.

Apart from this, duty on boric acid coming from America has been raised from 7.5% to 10%, and on a prawn specialty by 15%. Duty has also been increased on types of almonds, iron and steel, apples, pears, flat roll stainless steel, tube and pipe fittings and many types of nuts and bolts.

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