You may have to pay just 10% duty on Porsche and BMW; India in talks with EU to slash tariff.
Cars manufactured in the European Union, including luxury makes such as Porsche and BMW, could be available in India at prices only marginally higher than in Europe as the government is likely to agree to a 10% duty on a fixed quota of cars imported from the EU as part of a free-trade agreement being negotiated between the two sides.
India is considering allowing imports of 2.5 lakh car on which only a 10% tariff will be levied, compared to the normal rate of 60%, marking the first significant challenge the heavily protected Indian automobile industry has had to face from imports. The imports will be spread over five years, starting with 40,000 cars in the first year and rising by 5,000 units every year thereafter.
"We may bring down tariff to a low level of 10% for a fixed quota of cars every year for five years. We think our industry can deal with this," a government official told ET.
New Delhi is also considering reducing import tariffs by half from 60% to 30% for cars outside the quota once the proposed India-EU free trade agreement is implemented.
The European Union is keen that India commit itself to extending the liberalized import regime for the quota of 2.5 lakh cars beyond five years, but New Delhi has said that it will review the situation after five years.
"We want to keep some room for maneuver if the need arises,' the official said. Greater market access for automobiles, wines & whiskies is on top of the EU's wish list for the FTA, formally called the bilateral trade and investment agreement.
In exchange, India expects to get more visas for its professionals, a relaxation of EU norms that require manufacturers keep elaborate database on chemicals used in their products.
India's wishlist also includes recognition as a data secure country for carrying out off-shore operations, a quality certificate for its herbal products and lower duties on labour intensive products such as leather and textiles.
The concessions on automobiles and alchohol, if they form part of the final agreement, will be unique as they are absent in similar agreements it has entered so far with countries like Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Sri Lanka and the ten-member Asean.
The Indian automobile industry has criticized the government's move to liberalise imports.
SIAM has warned that imports will deter investments as foreign car makers would prefer to export their cars to India rather than set up manufacturing facilities.
French carmaker Peugeot has put off its plans to invest in India, reportedly, in the hope of reaping benefits of lower duties once the India-EU FTA gets implemented. Automobile Industry India, Auto Industry News, Automotive Industry, Automobile Market | Industry News - Economic Times