Government raises wheat import duty to 30%

NEW DELHI: India on Wednesday raised the import duty from 20% to 30% on wheat with immediate effect. This is to protect domestic growers from sourcing cheaper produce from overseas markets.

The move comes at a time when wheat procurement in the domestic market by the government and private agencies is at peak. This measure is expected to help stem imports of wheat from Ukraine, Russia and Australia.

As per the government’s third advance estimate, the country is set to produce a record 98.61 million tonnes of wheat in 2017-18 crop year.

Cheap imports in this scenario could hit Indian farmers hard.

In 2017-18, India imported 1.48 million tonnes of wheat compared with 5.75 million tonnes of wheat in 2016-17. Traders said no imports have taken place since April this year, but the industry is following a wait-and-watch policy.

[ May 24, 2018]