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Government: Duty cut on US apples, walnuts won’t hurt farmers – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The government on Tuesday said the decision to do away with additional duty on walnuts and apple imported from the US will not have any adverse impact on domestic producers as enough safeguards, including customs duty, remain in place.
Following the settlement of trade disputes with the US, the government did away with the 20% additional duty on apples and walnuts, which had been in place since 2019. These levies were in addition to the customs duty of 50% for apples and 100% for walnuts, the commerce department said. “Customs duty has not been reduced. Only the additional duty has been done away with,” commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal told reporters.
The minister said in May, the directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT) had notified a Minimum Import Price of Rs 50 a kg for imported apples, other than those coming from Bhutan. This was to check against the entry of apples below the notified price, helping block cheap imports. Besides, Goyal said sanitary and phytosanitary standards, which sets out rules for food safety and plant health, would ensure that only those apples that complied with the specifications could enter India.
Given that Washington apples, the main variety imported from the US, are priced in the higher segment, the removal of additional duties will ensure more competition in the high-end segment, helping consumers get a better deal.

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