In a bid to cut the Current Account Deficit (CAD), the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday increased basic customs duty on select items. The prices of AC, refrigerators and washing machines will increase after the move to curb the import of certain imported items.
Flying in aeroplanes will also become dearer as the customs duty tariffs on Aviation turbine fuel were also increased. The revision in the rates of basic customs duty (BCD) will be effective from midnight of September 26.
"The central government has taken tariff measures, by way of increase in the basic customs duty, to curb import of certain imported items. These changes aim at narrowing the current account deficit (CAD) ... In all the customs duty has been increased on 19 items,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said that total import bill on account of shipment of these items into the country in the last fiscal year was Rs 86,000 crore.
Curbing non-essential imports was part of the five-pronged steps announced by the government earlier this month to check expanding CAD amid the depreciation of the rupee.
“To address the issue of expanding CAD, the government will take necessary steps to cut down non-essential imports and increase exports. The commodities of which imports will be cut down will be decided after consultations with concerned ministries and will be WTO-compliant,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said.
Below is the list of 19 items on which the customs duty has been increased: