India is considering allowing imports of 2.5 lakh car on which only a 10% tariff will be levied, compared to the normal rate of 60%, marking the first significant challenge the heavily protected Indian automobile industry has had to face from imports. The imports will be spread over five years, starting with 40,000 cars in the first year and rising by 5,000 units every year thereafter.
"We may bring down tariff to a low level of 10% for a fixed quota of cars every year for five years. We think our industry can deal with this," a government official told ET.
New Delhi is also considering reducing import tariffs by half from 60% to 30% for cars outside the quota once the proposed India-EU free trade agreement is implemented.
The European Union is keen that India commit itself to extending the liberalized import regime for the quota of 2.5 lakh cars beyond five years, but New Delhi has said that it will review the situation after five years.
"We want to keep some room for maneuver if the need arises,' the official said. Greater market access for automobiles, wines & whiskies is on top of the EU's wish list for the FTA, formally called the bilateral trade and investment agreement.
In exchange, India expects to get more visas for its professionals, a relaxation of EU norms that require manufacturers keep elaborate database on chemicals used in their products.
India's wishlist also includes recognition as a data secure country for carrying out off-shore operations, a quality certificate for its herbal products and lower duties on labour intensive products such as leather and textiles.
The concessions on automobiles and alchohol, if they form part of the final agreement, will be unique as they are absent in similar agreements it has entered so far with countries like Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Sri Lanka and the ten-member Asean.
The Indian automobile industry has criticized the government's move to liberalise imports.
SIAM has warned that imports will deter investments as foreign car makers would prefer to export their cars to India rather than set up manufacturing facilities.
French carmaker Peugeot has put off its plans to invest in India, reportedly, in the hope of reaping benefits of lower duties once the India-EU FTA gets implemented.
- Porsche appoints Manolito Vujicic as head of India operations
- Porsche India Director Pavan Shetty resigns
- Rumour has it: Mercedes-Benz all set to electrify its sports vehicles, will compete with Porsche & Tesla
- Porsche brings 718 Spyder, 718 Cayman GT4 models to India starting at Rs 1.59 cr
- The real-life Leo from 'Catch Me If You Can' who loves Porsche
- A gentle beast! Rolls-Royce Ghost's calm & quiet on-road movement gives Mercedes & Porsche a run for their money
10 Comments on this Story
S l kulkarni 2999 days ago
With limited cars on lower import duty is one more opening of scam. Only leaders will import at lower duty and sale to make bumper profit .good job finance minister . Keep such openings for political friends.
S l kulkarni
athar3004 days ago
a very good move by the govt as it will provide us luxury at a lower price. and people who are saying that it will kill the domestic manufacturing industry are wrong as the cars which would be imported belong to a completely different price range and segment. if someone wants to buy a Scorpio might end up buying a safari etc but not a Mercedes Benz GL350.
HVNK 3032 days ago
diesel cars should not be eligible for this tax reduction - they already get a rs. 10-20/liter subsidy on fuel due to govt's irrational policies [only petrol , lpg, cng, etc should be allowed]