The government hiked the basic customs duty in a bid to curb the import of non-essential items to check the burgeoning current account deficit.

ACs fridges washing machines to get costlier as govt hikes import duty on 19 itemsImage source: Scott Lewis via Flickr
Atom Import Duty Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 10:12

A range of imported products including air conditioners, household refrigerators, washing machines and radial car tyres will get costlier with the government on Wednesday hiking the basic customs duty in a bid to curb the import of non-essential items to check the burgeoning current account deficit.

A notification that will be effective from the midnight of Wednesday was issued by the Revenue Department hiking the import duty on 19 items whose total value of import in 2017-18 was about Rs 86,000 crore.

This follows a high-level meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week in the light of the falling value of the rupee and the pressure on foreign exchange outgo in which it was decided to take five measures to curb the widening current account deficit by cutting non essential imports.

The import duty on air conditioners, household refrigerators and washing machines less than 10 kg has been hiked from 10 to 20 per cent. 

The duty on compressors for air conditioners and refrigerators has been upped from 7.5 to 10 per cent while speakers and radial car tyres will attract a 15 per cent duty as against 10 per cent at present.

Footwear will now attract 25 per cent duty, 5 per cent up from 20 per cent while non-industrial diamond (other than rough diamonds), that is cut and polished diamond will attract 7.5 per cent as against 5 per cent.

The duty on diamonds -- semi-processed, half-cut or broken -- large grown diamonds and cut and polished coloured gem stones will go up from 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent while on articles of jewellery and parts thereof, of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal, will go up from 15 per cent to 20 per cent.

Imported speakers will attract a higher duty of 15 per cent, up by 5 per cent, while articles of goldsmith or silversmith wares and parts thereof of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal will go up from 15 per cent to 20 per cent.

Plastic bath, shower bath, sinks and wash basins, articles of plastics for conveyance and packing, tableware, kitchenware and other household items of plastics, and miscellaneous items of plastics such as office stationery and decorative sheets will attract 15 per cent duty as against 10 per cent at present.

Trunks, suitcases, executive cases, briefcases, travel bags and other bags will attract 15 per cent duty as against 10 per cent at present, and aviation turbine fuel will go up from 0 per cent to 5 per cent. 

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