From Today, Customs Duty Hike Applicable On These 19 Items, Including Air Fare, Refrigerators

| September 27 , 2018 , 12:44 IST

Days after a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on September 21 on reducing the mounting Current Account Deficit (CAD), the government announced on Wednesday a hike in customs duty on select items to curb "non-essential imports" and narrow the CAD.

The hike in customs duty, the taxes imposed on imports, will be applicable to 19 items from Thursday including aviation turbine fuel (ATF), and consumer items such as television, refrigerators, air conditioner, suitcases, speakers and tableware and kitchenware made of plastic, an official statement said.

View the full list of items:

The total value of imports of these 19 items was Rs 86,000 crore in 2017-18, the Ministry of Finance noted. The move is a part of the government's goal to reduce non-essential imports to contain the Current Account Deficit and capital outflows.

The meeting chaired by PM Modi and FM Jaitley on September 21 was also attended by the Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel, senior officers from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and officers from Finance Ministry.

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In the meeting, the government decided to cut down the non-essential imports, increase exports, removal of withholding tax on Masala bonds and relaxation for Foreign Portfolio Investments (FPIs) over the issue of mounting Current Account Deficit (CAD). However, no specific items had been mentioned at the time.

In a media briefing, Jaitley Said, "The aim of these five immediate decisions is to attract more foreign currency to India as we try to control the current account deficit."

He added, "the government and Finance Ministry's top priority is to maintain the fiscal deficit and we are trying to maintain it and we are confident we will be able to maintain it."