The government on Wednesday raised import duties on 19 items, including jet fuel and air conditioners, as it looks to check the widening current account deficit resulting from high crude oil prices and the rupee dipping to a historic low.The enhanced duty rates, which will make these imported goods expensive, will come into effect from midnight of September 26-27, said a government statement."
The total value of imports of these items in the year 2017-18 was about Rs 86,000 crore," the statement said."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," it said. The import duty on air conditioners, household refrigerators and washing machines (less than 10 kg) doubled to 20%. The basic customs duty on compressors, speakers and footwears raised to 10%, 15% and 25% respectively.
The duty on radial car tyres raised from 10% to 15% while for cut and polished diamonds, semi-processed diamonds, lab grown diamonds, coloured gem stones the import hiked from 5% to 7.5%.The articles of jewellery, goldsmith and silver wares will now attract a duty of 20%, up from 15% earlier.Import of bath wares, packing material, tableware, kitchenware and office stationary items, decorative sheets, beads and bangles, trunk, suitcases, and travel bags will now attract basic customs duty of 15 per cent as against 10% earlier.Besides, the government has also announced an import duty of 5% on aviation turbine fuel (ATF). It was nil earlier.
Below is the list of 19 items on which the customs duty has been increased: