In presenting his country’s budget, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Nitharaman reportedly proposed to raise customs duties on certain types of imported footwear to 35 percent from 25 percent to help protect labor-intensive industries.
“Cheap and low-quality imports are an impediment to their growth. Special attention has been taken to put measured restraint on the import of those items which are being produced by our MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) with better quality,” she said.
The Indian shoe industry is already very competitive on a global level because of relatively low wages. Anyway, the news about the proposed duties lifted the share price of footwear companies such as Bata India and Relaxo Footwears.
Relaxo had previously announced positive quarterly results. It posted a 9 percent increase in revenues to 6,020 million rupees (€76.9m-$84.2m) for the third quarter ended on Dec. 31, while its net profit rose by 52 percent to 540 million rupees (€6.9m-$7.6m). The company sells under the brands Sparx, Flite and Bahamas.