HC Deb 13 May 1881 vol 261 cc400-1

asked the Secretary of State for India, Whether, as it is desirable to encourage the freight of salt to India, he would urge upon the Government of India that English salt should not be placed at a disadvantage in India, by a higher rate of duty of £1 per ton than that levied on Sambhur Lake salt, and that the salt made in India should not be sold under the cost of production, plus the duty charged on English salt; and, whether he can lay upon the Table any correspondence on the subject?


Sir, I have been in correspondence with the Government of India on the subject of the hon. Member's Question, in consequence of a Memorial from the Salt Chamber of Commerce, and have ascertained that salt made in India is not sold under the cost of production. It is necessary, for financial reasons, to fix the Salt Tax in Bengal about £1 a-ton higher than in Upper India, and hence the English salt consumed in Bengal pays a higher rate of tax than the Sambhur salt of Upper India. But the Indian salt made in or imported into Bengal and the English salt imported into Bengal pay the same rate of tax. Under those circumstances, I do not consider it necessary to lay the Correspondence which has been communicated to the Salt Chamber of Commerce on the Table of the House.