On Saturday, Union minister for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) Nitin Gadkari said that the government will consider increasing import duty on products from some sectors to support domestic businesses.
Without specifying these sectors, Gadkari at the India @75 summit said that though the decision will not be well received, increase in import duty will encourage manufacturers to increase the volume of production, which will result in lower cost to keep prices of products competitive.
Amid the pandemic, India launched the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan in May to reduce dependence on other countries and encourage local production. In recent months, the government has hiked import duty on items such as bamboo used in making agarbatti from 10 percent to 25 percent to support bamboo growers in the country. Last week, the MSME ministry launched a programme for the benefit of artisans involved in the manufacturing of Agarbatti and to develop village industry under 'Gramodyog Vikas Yojana.'
Gadkari, on Saturday, urged industries to work on a strategy to increase export and reduce dependence on imports. He also suggested a sector-specific approach in identifying problems and markets for exports.
The minister also urged the industry to look at ways to get low-cost foreign funds for MSMEs.