The Central Government on Wednesday announced new tariff measures by increasing the basic customs duty of 19 items to curb import of certain products. The government said that these changes are aimed at narrowing the Current Account Deficit (CAD). The total value of imports of these items in the year 2017-18 was about Rs 86,000 Crore.
The changes in basic import duty, which have been hiked in some cases by 50%, will make air travel, buying consumer items such as air-conditioners, household refrigerators, washing machines, footwears, and jewellery expensive.
In all, the basic customs duty has been increased on 19 items. The basic customs duty for Aviation turbine fuel has been fixed at 5% now which till now was zero while for ACs, household refrigerators, washing machines (less than 10 Kg) it has been enhanced from 10% to 20%. For Compressor for ACs and refrigerators the basic customs duty has been increased from 7.5% to 10%. In case of speakers and radial car tyres, the duty is up from 10% to 15% and for footwears it has been increased from 20% to 25%.
In the jewellery section, for diamond items such as non industrial diamond (other than rough diamonds) -- cut and polished; semi processed, half cut or broken diamonds; lab grown diamonds and cut and polished coloured gemstones, the basic customs duty has been increased from 5% to 7.5%. Besides, the customs duty for articles of jewellery and articles of Goldsmith or Silversmith wares and parts thereof, of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal has been increased from15 to 20%.
For plastic items related to bath, shower bath, sink, wash basin; plastics for conveyance and packing such as boxes, case, containers, bottles, insulated ware etc; tableware, kitchenware and other household items of plastics; miscellaneous items of plastics such as office stationery, fitting for furniture's, decorative sheets, statuettes, beads, bangles etc; and for travel bags like trunks, suitcase, executive cases, brief cases, and other bags etc the duty has been increased from 10 % to 15%.
The changes in basic customs duty will be effective from September 27, 2018 (i.e. midnight of 26th September/27th September, 2018).