The issue came up for discussion during a virtual meeting between Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Australia’s Minister of Trade and Tourism Don Farrell.
Goyal noted that early implementation of the agreement is in the best interest of both the countries.
The ministry said the meeting was held to discuss the status of ratification of the pact, its early implementation and to deliberate upon the way forward for a comprehensive IndAus ECTA.
“The Australian Minister informed that the IndAus ECTA as well as the amendments to the domestic regulation of Australia for resolving the issues related to Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) had been introduced in the Australia Parliament and likely to be ratified shortly after the Joint Standing Committee on Treaty submits its report to the Australian Parliament,” it added.
After ratification, both the sides will implement the pact from a mutually agreed date.
He mentioned that the processes related to the ratification of the agreement will be completed in the following weeks.
Both the parties acknowledged the importance of initiating discussions for the comprehensive agreement, as agreed under the ECTA.
They agreed to hold the annual Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) meeting sometime early next year.
In the meantime, experts from both the sides will have their first round of discussions, which will lay a roadmap for the JMC meeting.
The agreement, once implemented, will provide duty-free access to the Australian market for over 6,000 broad sectors of India, including textiles, leather, furniture, jewellery and machinery.
Goyal had earlier said the agreement would help in taking bilateral trade from USD 27.5 billion at present to USD 45-50 billion in the next five years.
Under the pact, Australia is offering zero-duty access to India for about 96.4 per cent of exports (by value) from day one. This covers many products that currently attract 4-5 per cent customs duty in Australia.
Labour-intensive sectors which would gain immensely include textiles and apparel, few agricultural and fish products, leather, footwear, furniture, sports goods, jewellery, machinery, electrical goods and railway wagons.
Australia is the 17th largest trading partner of India, while New Delhi is Canberra’s 9th largest partner. India’s goods exports stood at USD 8.3 billion and imports aggregated to USD 16.75 billion in 2021-22.
India is pitching for an early amendment of the regulations on the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) to stop the taxation on the offshore income of Indian firms providing technical support in Australia.
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