India And EU To Navigate WTO Import Duty Dispute On Tech Products Amid FTA Talks


(MENAFN- KNN India) New Delhi, Dec 11 (KNN)
India to resolve a WTO import duty dispute with the European Union regarding information and technology products through the ongoing free trade agreement negotiations, an official said.

After a World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute panel ruled on April 17 that India's import duties on various information and technology (ICT) products for global trading norms, India and the European Union (EU) are in talks to amicably resolve the issue outside the WTO framework.

As part of the discussion, the EU has sought duty concessions from India on these goods as it was violative of the global trade norms, but India has stated that it would be again a breach of WTO rules, if the concessions be extended only to the EU, the official said.

“They are seeking duty concessions, which according to India can be discussed only under the free trade agreement (FTA). India can consider something under the FTA, but not on MFN (most favoured nation) basis,” the official added.

Under the MFN basis, a WTO member country can not give import duty concessions of goods only to one country or region as it would be a violation of global trade rules. All the 164 members of the Geneva-based multi-lateral body have to provide equal/national treatment to each other by extending MFN status.

Reducing duties on these items poses a challenge for India, given the government's emphasis on promoting domestic manufacturing of electronic goods to diminish import reliance. The country has introduced a production-linked incentive scheme to bolster the manufacturing of various IT hardware products.

Imports of electronic goods rose by 11.63 per cent to USD 51.4 billion during April-October this fiscal.

(KNN Bureau)

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