India has extended duty-free market access to Afghanistan as part of its economic package for least developed countries (LDCs). Under the scheme, the import of most products from the neighbouring country will be allowed at zero duty.  The Finance Ministry has issued a notification in this regard.  India’s Duty-Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) scheme, launched by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2008, provides preferential duty access on products comprising 92.5 per cent of global LDC exports.

The DFTP scheme grants duty-free access on 85 per cent of India’s total tariff lines. The scheme is to be implemented over a period of five years through five equal tariff reductions of 20 per cent each on the current applied rates to bring down the duty rate to zero. Some of the products of interest for LDCs which are covered include cotton, cocoa, aluminium ore, copper ore, cashewnut, cane sugar, readymade garments, fish fillets and non-industrial diamonds.

The countries which have been notified under the DFTP scheme include Cambodia, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Madagascar.

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Notification No. 45/2011-Customs, New Delhi, dated the 1st June, 2011

G.S.R.    (E).- In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 25 of the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962), the Central Government, on being satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, hereby makes the following further amendments in the notification of the Government of India, in the Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue), No. 96/2008-Customs, dated the 13th August, 2008 which was published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, vide number G.S.R. 590 (E), dated the 13th August, 2008, namely:-

In the said notification, in the Schedule, after serial number 26 and the entries relating thereto, the following serial number and entries shall be added, namely:-

S. No. Name of the Country
“27 Islamic Republic of Afghanistan”

[F. No. 354/189/2005-TRU (Vol II)]

(Sanjeev Kumar Singh)

Under Secretary to the Government of India

Note: The principal notification was published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, vide number G.S.R. 590(E), dated the 13th August, 2008 and was last amended by notification No. 121/2010-Customs, dated the 1st December, 2010 which was published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, vide number G.S.R.934 (E) dated the 1st December, 2010.

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