On Tuesday, the government extended the deadline to impose retaliatory customs duties on 29 products imported from the US, that includes almonds and walnuts, to 1 April. The duties were postponed as India is in talks with the USA over a proposed trade package.
The Commerce Ministry has asked the Ministry of Finance to postpone the date of implementation of increased customs on certain products originating from the USA from 2 March 2019 to 1 April 2019.
In 2018, India had decided to impose retaliatory tariffs on Washington after the latter imposed high customs duties on specific steel and aluminum products.
The new proposed tariffs are much higher than the current rates. While import duty on walnut would be hiked to 120 percent from 30 percent, duty on chickpeas, Bengal gram (chana) and masur dal would be raised to 70 percent from 30 percent currently. Duties on lentils will be increased to 40 percent from 30 percent.
Senior officials of India and the US are in discussions to finalize a kind of trade package. Both sides are holding two track discussions, that is, to increase trade in the short and medium term, and identify long-term trade potentials.