10% import duty on wheat
In a move intended to prevent foreign wheat from flooding the domestic market, the Centre on Friday imposed a 10 per cent import duty on wheat.
The move is likely to affect flour millers, particularly in the South, who are already finding it difficult to bring in quality grain from Australia due to rising import prices. Fears that imports from Russia, Ukraine and France could hit sales of the domestic stock may have prompted the decision to impose the duty.
A Finance Ministry notification defined the decision to impose basic Customs duty of 10 per cent on wheat till March 31, 2016. “The estimated revenue implication of the exemption is a revenue gain of about ₹90 crore in the remaining part of the year,” said an official statement.
The notification copy was placed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before the Lok Sabha on Friday.
The step was suggested by the Food Ministry in June after reports emerged of millers in South establishing deals to import 500,000 tonnes of premium Australian wheat due to inferior quality grain within the country.
Wheat output is estimated at 90.78 million tonnes (mt) in 2014-15 as against a record production of 95.85 mt the year before. The government currently has a huge stock of around 40 mt of wheat.