16 SEP,2019 | MEDC
The global economic uncertainty is affecting India adversely and straining our balance of payments. The need of the hour is to design and implement trade reforms in a timely manner by a competent arm of the government. If we are to achieve international competitiveness, we need to get our tariff levels down to ASEAN levels in the next two years. The average tariff level in India for non-agricultural produce is 13.6%, compared to 5.2% in Malaysia, 7.3% in Thailand, and 8.4% in Vietnam. In today’s world, we can’t afford to have such rates. Transaction costs need to decline, by gradually shifting to a cashless digital economy. With a falling cost of digital payments over the years, this is doable. India also needs to thoroughly cleanse its trade policies of outdated priorities and take a more proactive stance in global trade negotiations, if we are to become a $ 5 trillion economy over the coming five years.
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