Govt shuts down Raj Raj era tariff commission

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NEW DELHI: The government decided to liquidate the Tariff Commission, one of the remnants of the license permit raj, which had outlived its usefulness. While the Center has been discussing the plan for several years, official sources said, the Union Cabinet recently approved the proposal.
Over the past few months, the departments have undertaken an analysis of several entities under their administrative control and reassessed their relevance. In fact, Sanjeev Sanyal, who is now a member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, has undertaken an exercise covering some ministries, some of which are in the process of being implemented. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also suggested some administrative changes.
The entity dates back to the pre-independence era, when it was called the Tariff Commission, and advised on measures to protect ‘domestic industry’. In 1951, a statutory tariff commission was created to deal with the additional mandate of recommending changes in duties and dumping, before giving way to the Bureau of Industrial Costs and Prices (BICP). In 1997, the Tariff Commission made a comeback and the BICP was later merged with it.
According to data on its website, the agency conducted 475 studies between 2000-01 and 2019-20. Some of its recommendations, such as those on the reverse entitlement structure, are also incorporated into the budget. While experts have suggested an overhaul of the Centre’s administrative setup to make it leaner, the government has so far limited the exercise to dealing with certain bodies.
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