Govt may not further hike import duty on non-essential items
New Delhi: The government may not go for another round of import duty hike on any more items and could take other measures to contain the impact of rupee slide on 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 like refrigerators and air conditioners, and telecom and communications system products as it looked to cut import of non-essential items.
"Further hike in import duty on non essential goods is not likely," the official told PTI.
In the latest round of duty hike effective October 12, the Finance Ministry increased the levy of import of base station, IP Radios, soft switches and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) equipments, and optical transport equipments, among others, to up to 20 per cent.
The import duty on mobile phones have 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 (MeiTY), after discussion with Ministry of Commerce and Industry. We have gone ahead with their suggestion," the official said.
Indian rupee had touched a historic low of 74.50 to a dollar on October 11. It later recovered and ended October 12 trading session at 73.57 to a dollar as global crude prices eased. The rupee has depreciated about 13 per cent since the beginning of 2018. "We expect the rupee to rise from here. No more import curbs would be needed at the moment. Rather we should look at ways to check dependence on petrol, diesel," another official said.