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Correct course on tariffs

Union Budget must avoid failed strategy of protectionism

Topics
Budget 2021 | trade protectionism | tariffs

Business Standard Editorial Comment  |  New Delhi 



This year’s Union Budget will have to address both the immediate crisis in the economy, caused by the pandemic, lockdown, and social- distancing norms, as well as the longer-term headwinds caused by a revenue crunch and slowing growth momentum. The main focus of the Budget, therefore, should be on reform and competitiveness, alongside targeted relief to those sectors most directly affected by the pandemic. It is unfortunate therefore that, according to recent reports, the Budget will include tariff increases on 50 or more different items including electronics and chemicals. This would be another misguided step towards isolating India from the global economy, alongside other recent anti-trade moves. Further protectionism will neither help the economy recover swiftly nor raise India’s growth trajectory sustainably.

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First Published: Sun, January 24 2021. 23:20 IST

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