ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Sugar- Familiar Lifting Exercise

ECONOMIC AND POLITCAL WEEKLY maintained at their present levels only through large-scale borrowing. It is also difficult to understand how it can be claimed that the import policy is going to encourage import substitution when its entire thrust is in the direction of liberalising imports. In regard to import substitution, the budget had already missed the bus, No doubt imports have become costlier, but if we exclude petroleum and foodgrains the rate of price rise for other imports has not been much higher than for domestic products. In such a situation unless it was proposed to physically restrict the quantity of imported inputs, imports should have been made costlier by a hike in customs duties, It should be recalled in this context that the increase in duties on even petroleum products has not been much except in the case of petrol. Since coal prices are going to be raised substantially soon, there would have been a justification on imposing stiffer import duties even on crude petroleum. The case for raising import duties is particularly strong in respect of non-ferrous metals, alloy steels, chemicals, machinery and equipment and manufactures of metals for which there are close domestically-produced substitutes.

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