Opinion | India’s rerun of its protectionist folly mars the liberalization era
The latest budget’s import tariff hikes signal that a three-decade commitment to trade openness has been all but abandoned
Minister of finance Nirmala Sitharaman delivered one of the longest Union budget speeches in recent memory on 1 February. Notable by their absence in the speech were the specifics of a raft of tariff increases, which had been telegraphed in advance and tucked away in an annexure. It seems the government’s backsliding towards protectionist import barriers was deemed insufficiently important, or perhaps, on the contrary, excessively inconvenient to get a direct mention in the speech.