We Are Engaged With EU On Carbon Tax Issue: Piyush Goyal

By Outlook Planet Desk May 17, 2023

Speaking to the media following the first India-EU Trade and Technology Council meeting in Brussels, he stated that the objective is to make sustainability a part of our collaborative efforts to leave a better planet for future generations

We Are Engaged With EU On Carbon Tax Issue: Piyush Goyal
Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Textiles and Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal. Image Courtesy: PIB

Piyush Goyal, India's Commerce and Industry Minister, stated that India is in discussions with the European Union about the EU's decision to impose a carbon tax on certain imported goods, and expressed hope that the objective is not to create trade obstacles.

Speaking to the media after the first India-EU Trade and Technology Council meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, he also stated that India must maintain high customs duties on many products at times in order to compete with certain geographies that are "very non-transparent," and that developed countries face the "unintended consequence of high tariffs."

According to Goyal, the CBAM (carbon border adjustment mechanism) is the method recommended by the EU, and India is continuing to work with the EU on it.

"I am sure that the intention is not to create barrier to trade but to find a way forward so that sustainability is as much a part of our collective efforts to leave behind a better planet for the next generation... we remain engaged and we are discussing the issue and we have a long time ahead of us within which we'll be working together to find the right solutions to this," he said.

The system, which is set to go into effect in October, would have an influence on India's steel and aluminium exports.

When asked about charges that India's levies are excessive, Goyal stated that India's tariffs are "very often" misinterpreted to be excessive on most raw materials or intermediates.

"We are generally very low on duty. On many items of technology, many items which are helping the Indian economy grow, we have kept the duties very low... the actual applied rates are much lower than what was agreed to at the WTO as bound rates," he said.

He went on to say that India is a developing country with 1.4 billion people, and meeting the demands of such a big population while also offering employment opportunities for millions of people has its own set of dynamics.

"Recognising and respecting our ability to compete with geographies which are completely non-transparent, we need to keep our tariffs high on many products. At times, developed countries are the unintended consequence of high tariffs and which is why we are engaged in free trade agreement negations with the EU," he said.

He expressed hope that the agreement will provide numerous firms in India with significant chances and openings to provide high quality and creative R&D products to India, as well as open doors to the EU marketplace for Indian goods.