In the Union Budget 2023-24, Finance Minister Nirmala Seetharaman has announced slew of measures to boost exports and help accelerate growth of manufacturing in the country. Following are the highlights for the export and manufacturing sector:
- The Department of Commerce’s recommendation on lab grown diamond (LGD) has been accepted whereby a research grant of Rs. 242 crore over a period of 5 years to IIT Madras has been approved. This will enable indigenisation of the manufacturing process of LGD. Further, reduction of duty on LGD seeds from 5% to 0% has also been accepted which will result in reducing the cost of production of LGD growers and make our LGD exports globally competitive. The recommendation of the Department of Commerce for creating separate HS Codes for LGD has also been accepted. It would enable tracking the international trade in lab grown diamonds.
- Custom duty on articles of precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum has been increased from 20% to 25% thereby increasing the duty differential to 10% over gold/silver/platinum bars. This will boost domestic manufacturing in the sector and result in import substitution. Custom duty on imitation jewellery has been enhanced from 20% to 25%. This will discourage cheap imports from China and encourage domestic manufacturing.
- The reduction in import duty of fish meal from 15% to 5% will make the shrimp industry more competitive in the country and boost exports. The fish meal constitutes 40% of the cost of production of shrimps. This will also prevent incidence of juvenile fishing which is used for fish meal in domestic production and will thereby improve our marine fish stock availability.
- The recommendation of the Department of Commerce to increase import duty on compound rubber from 10% to 25% has been agreed to. This will reduce the import of compound rubber in the country and boost demand and prices for natural rubber produced in the country. This will go a long way in supporting our natural rubber farmers and further increasing its production in the country.
- The budget has identified the financial sector as a priority sector. Measures to enhance business activities in GIFT IFSC, comprehensive review of existing financial sector regulations and support for digital payments will promote India’s financial services exports in the long run.
- Integrated development of at least 50 tourism destinations and measures related to enhancement of tourist’s experience will provide impetus to foreign tourist arrival in India which will enhance tourism service exports.