Centre finalising tariffs on non-essential imports

The measure is aimed at shoring up the sliding rupee

The government has finalised the list of non-essential items on which it will be imposing import tariffs, according to a senior official in the Finance Ministry.

The official said the list, to be notified soon, would include electronics, gems, select items of steel that are also manufactured in India, imported apples, and almonds, among others.

“There has been a discussion on the list for the last two weeks,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity since the list has not been notified yet. “The main issue under consideration was whether to include gold in it. The list has now been finalised and will include most of the non-essential items such as electronics, gems, some select items of steel that are manufactured in India, imported apples, and almonds.”

The official, however, did not specify when the list would be notified, only saying that it would be “very soon.”

Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg had said a few days ago that the list would help in shoring up the rupee at about ₹68-70 to the U.S. dollar.

The government had, earlier this month, announced the easing of overseas borrowing norms for manufacturing companies, removal of restrictions on foreign portfolio investment in corporate bonds and tax benefits on masala bonds.

The imposition of tariffs on the import of non-essential items is expected to bolster these efforts in stabilising the rupee’s levels, according to the official.

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