No plan to curb import of chemicals and petrochemicals: Govt

The government has no proposal to curb import of chemicals and petrochemicals by raising customs duty, Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said in Parliament on Tuesday.

The import of chemicals and petrochemicals is on the rise in the last five years due to insufficient domestic supply, he said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

“Currently, there is no proposal under consideration of the Department of Revenue to increase import duty to cut down imports,” Gowda said.

Import of chemicals and petrochemicals rose to 12.66 million tonne in 2018-19 fiscal from 12.34 million tonne in 2017-18. It stood at 11.33 million tonne in 2016-17, 11.04 million tonne in 2015-16 and 10.10 million tonne in 2014-15 fiscal, he said.

“This increase of imports of chemicals and petrochemicals is due to insufficient domestic production capacity to meet the growing domestic demand, comparatively higher cost of production in the country, also due to comparatively smaller scale of operations,” Gowda noted.

The Minister also made it clear that the government has no plan to increase exports incentives under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS).