No scope for further hike in import duty on apples: Nirmala Sitharaman
New Delhi: Government has said there is no scope for India to increase the import duty on apples without further negotiations under the WTO regime. Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government has received requests from several quarters including public representatives for increasing import duty on apples.
"The present import duty rates for apples is 50 per cent, which is also the bound rate of duty agreed to in GATT/WTO (World Trade Organisation). As such there is no scope for further increase in tariff rates without further negotiations under the WTO regime," she said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.
In 2015-16, India's fruits imports aggregated at USD 621.19 million as against USD 644.34 million in the previous fiscal. India's top five countries for imports during the last three years include Afghanistan, the US, Pakistan and China.
Replying to a separate question, she said market access efforts for grapes have been made in the countries like, the US, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Vietnam. For mangoes, the efforts have been made in South Africa and Iran, she added.