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India to block EU’s DSM request

According to official sources, India will block the European Union’s request for a dispute settlement panel at the World Trade Organization (WTO). EU has been against India’s customs duties on imports of certain information and communications technology (ICT) products including electronic transformers, telephone sets, particularly cell phones, transmission apparatus for radio or television broadcasting and electronic integrated circuits, television cameras, digital cameras and video camera recorders. The process was initiated last year.

India had levied 10% customs duty on mobile phones and some other ICT products for the first time in July 2017 and subsequently increased it to 15% and eventually 20%. EU initiated dispute proceedings last year. It has alleged that New Delhi is levied excess tariffs than what it had committed to in its tariff schedule at the WTO. India, on its part, has insisted that most of the items identified by the EU and others were not covered under the Information Technology Agreement as these did not exist in 1996 and the tariff lines were not included in the agreement.