The central government has hiked the customs duty on 19 items which include among others Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF), air-conditioners, refrigerators, small washing machines, footwear, suitcases, gold and silver jewellery.
This measure of the government is in light of the slump in the rupee’s value as global crude prices continue to rise doubling pressure on the government. With oil prices rising, there are fears over the current account deficit (CAD) spiralling out of control. It is expected that by hiking the import duties on these non-essential goods, the government would be able to stem of the rupee’s rapid fall.
The government stated that the total value of imports of the 19 items, for which tariffs have been hiked, was approximately Rs 86,000 crores with the exchange rate being pegged at Rs 65 a dollar which was the average for the previous fiscal year.
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