Nepali traders urge removal of countervailing duty imposed by India

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-04-07 17:00:00 – Kathmandu

The government of India has imposed countervailing duty on readymade garment products to offset excise duty levied on their own products. As per traders, Indian has imposed additional countervailing duty on Nepali garments to safeguard the chances of imported goods being sold at cheaper rates as compared to the locally produced goods. Normally, countervailing duty is levied on products that receive subsidy during manufacturing in the country of origin.

Nepal Foreign Trade Association (NFTA) has requested for removal of countervailing duty imposed by the government of India on the import of Nepali goods. Even as Nepali exporters have long been lobbying for the same through the government, the government of India has not suspended the provision yet.

During an interaction with Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae, NFTA officials said that as Nepal’s export volume to India, especially of garments, is quite low, it could not affect the production base in India.

According to Ramesh Gupta, president of NFTA, the safeguard measure taken by the Indian government has been hurting Nepal’s export to India. Hence, they request the Indian government through the ambassador of India to Nepal to suspend such duties to promote India-Nepal trade.

Recently, the government of India has also informed that they are preparing to impose anti-dumping tariff on jute products and asked the exporters to present reasons as to why the Indian government should not impose this law on jute products within three months.

Since commerce secretary-level talks between Nepal and India are going to be held in the last week of May, traders have been lobbying with the government to raise the issue during the discussions.

In the interaction programme with the Indian envoy, traders also sought facility for movement of bulk cargoes to the railheads of Jogbani (Biratnagar) and Nautanwa (Bhairahawa). Currently, bulk cargoes ferried via rail only arrives to Inland Clearance Depot (ICD) at Birgunj — the only rail-linked ICD of the country.

As per traders, if the Indian government allows movement of bulk cargoes to the railheads of Nepal border, it will help in reducing industrial production costs and shorten the delivery of goods because there is rapid industrialisation in Bhairahawa, western part of Nepal.

Similarly, NFTA has also requested that India accept the lab certificates issued by Nepali labs to export goods to India as Nepali traders have been facing lots of problems related with quarantine while exporting agricultural and food items to the southern neighbour.

Addressing the programme, Indian Envoy Rae expressed his commitment to forward the grievances of Nepali traders to higher authority and concerned ministries of India.

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