The government has announced the new import policy for marble, travertine blocks and granite slabs which removes various restrictions and comes into effect from October 1, 2016. According to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the quantitative restriction on the import of marble and travertine blocks, and the associated administratively cumbersome and restrictive import licensing system has been brought to an end under the new policy. The ministry said in a statement that the minimum import price (MIP) for import of marble blocks has been reduced to $ 200 per metric tonne to address the distortions associated with an MIP.
The Ministry has said that to address the interest of domestic producers, the basic customs duty on import of marble & travertine blocks will go up four times from the earlier 10 per cent to 40 per cent w.e.f. 1st October 2016.
As per the ministry, with effect from October 1, 2016, the MIP on the import of marble slabs will be reduced to $40 per sq. m. In order to address the interest of domestic producers the basic customs duty on import of marble slabs is being doubled from 10 per cent to 20 per cent w.e.f. 1st October 2016. The MIP on import of granite slabs has been reduced to $ 50 per sq m. The basic custom duty on import of granite slabs is being doubled from 10 per cent to 20 per cent w.e.f. 1st October,2016. The new policy balances the interests of domestic consumers, producers and processors and ends the cumbersome licensing system for import of marble and travertine blocks.
The trade and industry feel that the Government's new import policy for different types of marble and travertine blocks will curtail monopolistic and restrictive trade practices while ensuring availability of raw material to factories. It marks the and end of the unfair and unethical License Regime on import. The move will provide a level playing field to players in the industry and may help revive sick units, thereby creating employment opportunities.
The government wanted to remove the present restriction and impose tariff measures instead. The changes in this regard were notified with the import policy of marble which is issued annually after consultation with the stakeholders and concerned governments official. Before announcing the new policy the government took feedback to protect the interests of the domestic industry.