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07 Aug 2020, 14:47 HRS IST
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    • Levy of BAT on imported goods to create level-playing field for domestic players: Niti member

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    20:4 HRS IST



    New Delhi, Jun 10 (PTI)
    Niti Aayog member V K Saraswat on Wednesday favoured imposing a border adjustment tax (BAT) on imports to provide a level-playing field to domestic industries.



    Also, he stressed on the need to identify reforms that can be immediately undertaken.

    "US-China trade tensions are currently at historic high levels. In the post COVID world, it is expected to rise further... so first we have to do a border adjustment tax to provide the domestic industry a level-playing field vis-a-vis imports," he said at a virtual event organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce.

    BAT is a duty that is proposed to be imposed on imported goods in addition to the customs levy that gets charged at the port of entry.

    Saraswat said various taxes like electricity duty, mandi tax, clean energy cess, royalty etc lead to escalation of price.

    "Such taxes which are imposed on domestic goods, give them (imported goods) a price advantage in India," he pointed out.

    The Indian industry has been complaining to the government about domestic taxes like electricity duty, duties on fuel, clean energy cess, mandi tax, royalties, biodiversity fees that get charged on domestically produced goods as these duties get embedded into the product. But many imported goods do not get loaded with such levies in their respective country of origin and this gives such products price advantage in the Indian market. Talking about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Atmanirbhar Bharat vision, Saraswat said advocating self-reliance should not imply that India will embrace isolationist policies.

    "I think many people think that we are going back to the old era. They are wrong. We have to be global but we have to have a supply chain which is more local," he noted.

    Saraswat, a former chief of the Defence Research and Development Organisation, said India is over dependent on everything including ventilators.

    "We have to invest in infrastructure... We must minimise our dependence on others for raw material and semi-finished goods," he stressed.

    Saraswat emphasised on the need to look beyond banks for infrastructure funding.

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