'Govt mulling more import duty cuts'
Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath's statement assumes significance in light of today's cabinet Committee meet to curb inflation.business Updated: Mar 31, 2008 17:24 IST
Ahead of the crucial meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Prices for considering options to tame rising inflation, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath on Monday said the government is looking at further cuts in duties on import of essential commodities.
"Yes, we are looking at further cuts. There is increase in international oil prices and it has to be met with import duty caliberation which we are considering," Nath told reporters in New Delhi.
The government has already slashed import duty on edible oils, including palm oil from 45 per cent to 20 per cent. Besides, stringent conditions have been imposed on exports of non-Basmati rice while export incentives on 40 to 50 items, including steel and chemical products have been withdrawn.
While the government cut the customs duty on edible oil to control the 13-month high inflation of 6.68 per cent, the foreign suppliers jacked up their margins taking advantage of the shortages in the country, traders said.
Faced with a difficult task of checking price rise, attributed to global hardening trend, Finance Minister P Chidambaram had said in Mumbai on Friday that tackling inflation would be the top priority of the government even if economic growth rate has to be sacrificed by a few percentage points.