India Inc for review of free trade

Source: The Asian Age| February 18, 2016

Stating that the various Free Trade Agreements (FTA) signed by India haven’t benefited the domestic industry, India Inc has requested the government to revisit some of those agreements and streamline the duty structure to boost the domestic manufacturing sector.

For ‘Make in India’ to succeed, Arvind Balaji, joint managing director, Lucas TVS, said India should remain competitive. “If you look at the FTAs that we have signed, India hasn’t benefitted much. The duties on imported components are lower than the duty on raw material. If raw material costs are going to be higher than the those globally, where are we going to be competitive?,” Mr Balaji queried.

He is also the president of industry body Auto Components Manufacturers Association.

Echoing Mr Balaji, Kamal Nandi, business head at Godrej Appliances said the issue of inverted duty structure has to be addressed in the budget, wherein raw materials attract more import duty than the final products. “It needs to be streamlined so that locally firms are not at a disadvantage,” he said.

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