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IMF urges Govt to remove tariff & non-tariff barriers to trade
By TII News Service
Dec 27, 2019 , Washington DC

    

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) urged the Government of India to take a fresh call on its tariff and non-tariff barriers to perk economic growth & job creation. According to IMF Staff Report (SR) on India dated 23rd December 2019, "There is still ample room to reduce trade barriers further. Staff welcomes efforts to decrease trade documentation, streamline trade procedures, and expand infrastructure investment focusing on supply-chain logistics, including last-kilometer connectivity”.

The report noted that nevertheless, tariffs are relatively high and being changed frequently. Trade costs and processing times remain relatively high. Reportedly, the main obstacles on services trade are restrictions on foreign entry and on movement of people, barriers to competition, and lack of regulatory transparency. The report observed high risk of rising protectionism and retreat from multilateralism impacting India over the medium term. It believes: The United States may further tighten imports from trading partners, including India. India’s own protectionism measures could be broadly contractionary and reduce incentives for businesses to compete and improve efficiency.

The report has thus urged Indian authorities to enhance economy's integration into global value chains by facilitating trade liberalization, reducing barriers to trade, and advancing export sophistication and quality. It says that broader structural reforms such as labour, land, and product market reforms would increase the benefits from trade liberalization. The report added that going forward, it is important to continue to put in place policies that create a conducive environment for investment and enhance policy certainty, including on sectoral policies and tariffs.

The IMF Staff’s analysis suggests continued trade and investment liberalization could further support India's trade and economic growth and help integrate India into global value chains. The report contends that more openness will help India transform and diversify, thus supporting the creation of more and better-quality jobs with a more substantial boost to employment potentially from increasing manufacturing exports. As put by SR, "Reduction of barriers to goods and services trade-tariffs and non-tariffs will ultimately benefit India".

 
 
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