More protectionism

Budget continues the mistake of raising tariffs

The Union Budget for 2019-20 continued the recent tradition of having a long section in which import tariffs were arbitrarily changed. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was quite clear about the motive behind these changes: “On the Customs side, my proposals are driven with the objectives of securing our borders, achieving higher domestic value addition through Make in India, reducing import dependence, protection to the MSME sector, promoting clean energy, curbing non-essential imports, and correcting inversions.” This is an explicit statement of import substitution as a ...