Budget 2021: No change in imported coal tariffs due to Agriculture Infrastructure Development cess, say experts

There will be almost no change in the tariffs on imported coal on account of proposed Agriculture Infrastructure Development cess levied by the government on items like coal and lignite, as per industry experts.

In her budget speech finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that basic customs duty (BCD) rates have been reduced on items such as coal lignite and peat with the imposition of Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess on these so that overall the consumer does not bear additional burden on most of the items.

“Infra Dev Cess in place of a reduction in basic custom duty of coal will ensure that there is no net change on the tariffs applicable on imported coal,” Niladri Bhattacharjee, Partner -Metals & Mining, KPMG said.

According to Jayanta Roy, Senior Vice President and Head, Corporate Sector Ratings, ICRA, Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) of 1.5 per cent has been imposed on coal importers to finance the improvement of agriculture infrastructure in India.

At the same time, the basic customs duty has been reduced by the same extent to one per cent. Therefore coal importers are unlikely to face higher duty on their coal imports.

He also said that the consumers depending on such a variety of imported coal will not be affected.

financial express
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