India could hike import duties on more commodities

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India is considering a proposal to increase import duties on a raft of products ranging from plastic to steel as it seeks to curb a ballooning current-account deficit and prop up a sagging rupee, people familiar with the matter said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration is planning to increase tariff on items including furniture, chemicals and mobile phone components, the people said, asking not to be named as the information is not public.

The prime minister’s office is planning a meeting in New Delhi as early as this week to review measures including curbs to curtail the trade gap, they said. Finance ministry spokesman D.S. Malik declined to comment.

The trade deficit represented 2.4% of gross domestic product, more than the 1.9% seen in the March quarter, according to latest data from the RBI. Earlier measures such as raising import tariffs on 19 products and easing some overseas borrowing norms have as yet failed to revive the confidence of investors.

 

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