Pause on import duty hikes

The import duty on mobile phones has been spared in the recent duty hike as the levy has already been raised earlier

By PTI in New Delhi
  • Published 15.10.18, 2:22 AM
  • Updated 15.10.18, 2:22 AM
  • a min read
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Earlier in the day, a finance ministry official had said more steps will be taken to check CAD and hoped that the rupee would appreciate. (Shutterstcok)

The government may not go for another round of import duty hikes on any more items and could take other measures to contain the impact of the rupee’s slide on the current account deficit (CAD), an official said.

The government, within a span of two weeks, has hiked import duty on a host of household items such as refrigerators and air conditioners, and telecom and communications system products as it looked to cut the import of non-essential items.

“Further hike in import duty on non-essential goods is not likely,” the official said.

In the latest round of duty hikes effective October 12, the finance ministry increased the levy of import of base station, IP Radios, soft switches and voice over internet protocol (VoIP) equipment and optical transport equipment, among others, to up to 20 per cent.

The import duty on mobile phones has been spared in the recent duty hike as the levy has already been raised earlier.

“This round of duty hike was suggested by the ministry of electronics and IT, after discussions with the ministry of commerce and industry.

We have gone ahead with their suggestion,” the official said.

Earlier in the day, a finance ministry official had said more steps will be taken to check CAD and hoped that the rupee would appreciate.

“Rupee, balance of payments, CAD are the main worries, we have strategy in place to tackle situation. We will take action at opportune time on these issues,” the official said.

The CAD widened to 2.4 per cent of GDP in the first quarter of 2018-19.