Source: News Bharati English18 Sep 2016 14:41:46

New Delhi, September 18: As a crucial step towards the initiative of Make in India, the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India notified the new import policy for Marble & Travertine Blocks, and Marble and Granite Slabs. This policy puts an end to quantitative restriction on the imports and the restrictive import licensing system. As per the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, the policy, which comes into effect from October 1, has lowered minimum import price (MIP) distortion and given tariff protection.

"By abolishing licensing on raw marble, the government has given a push to Make in India and a level playing field and equal opportunity to all," said Parveen Goel, chairperson, import committee of Delhi Marble Dealers Association.

Marble and Travertine Blocks: The Quantitative Restriction on the import of Marble & Travertine Blocks, and the associated administratively cumbersome and restrictive import licensing system has been brought to an end under the new policy coming into effect from 1st October 2016. The Minimum Import Price (MIP) for import of Marble Blocks has been reduced to US Dollars 200 per Metric Ton to address the distortions associated with an MIP. To address the interest of domestic producers, the Basic Customs Duty on import of Marble & Travertine Blocks will go up four times from the present 10% to 40% w.e.f. 1st October 2016.

Marble Slabs: With effect from 1st October 2016, the MIP on the import of marble slabs is being reduced to US Dollars 40 per Sq. Meter to address the distortion associated with an MIP. In order to address the interest of domestic producers the basic customs duty on import of marble slabs is being doubled from 10% to 20% w.e.f. 1st October 2016

Granite Slabs: With effect from 1st October 2016, the MIP on the import of granite slabs is being reduced to US Dollars 50 per Sq. Metre to address the distortion associated with MIP. In order to address the interest of domestic producers the basic customs duty on import of granite slabs is being doubled from 10% to 20% w.e.f. 1st October 2016.

The policy has come in the backdrop of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money that had last year flagged the issue of MIP on marble being a potential of money laundering and recommended its immediate removal. The new policy balances the interests of domestic consumers, producers and processors, and ends the cumbersome licensing system for import of Marble & Travertine blocks.