A porter unloads fruits brought by Tata Motors trucks to Azadpur vegetable market in New Delhi, India. (Photographer:Amit Bhargava/Bloomberg News.)

Cement, Fruit Shipments From Pakistan Among 10 Most-Hit Imports After Duty Hike

Fresh fruits, cement and leather are among the 10 main imported items from Pakistan that would take a major hit following the imposition of 200 percent duty by India on products from the neighbouring country in the aftermath of Pulwama terror attack, said experts.

The top 10 products exported by Pakistan to India include fresh fruits, cement, petroleum products, minerals, and leather. Processed minerals, inorganic chemicals, raw cotton, including waste, cotton fabrics, and glass and glassware, are also among such items that account for 95 percent of the total shipments.

“After drastically hiking the import duty on goods coming from Pakistan, we will isolate them in front of trade. Hiking of the duty at this level would completely hit exporters of Pakistan,” Professor Biswajit Dhar of Jawaharlal Nehru University said.

Sharing similar views, Federation of Indian Export Organisations Director General Ajay Sahai said Pakistan would face significant impact due to this decision.

The two main items imported from Pakistan are fruits and cement, which attracted duty of 30-50 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively. Domestic importers who have already placed their orders from Pakistan may face issues after this decision.

They may have to pay the 200 percent duty or undertake a lot of paperwork to get their consignments, an industry source said. Following the Pulwama terror attack that killed at least 40 CRPF personnel, India raised the duty to 200 percent on all goods imported from Pakistan.

Also read: Pulwama Encounter Ends After Over 16 Hours, 3 Terrorists Killed

India’s imports from Pakistan had increased to $488.5 billion in 2017-18 from $455.5 billion in 2016-17. Hike in the duty would drastically increase the prices of Pakistani goods in Indian markets, making them far less competitive compared to other imported goods.

Slapping an import duty of 200 percent effectively means almost banning the imports from Pakistan. Total India-Pakistan trade has increased marginally to $2.41 billion in 2017-18 against $2.27 billion in 2016-17.

(Corrects earlier version to update value of India’s imports from Pakistan.)