India increased the customs duty on some electronics including mobile phones, television sets, and microwave ovens in a bid to curb imports and boost local manufacturing.
The levy on mobiles was raised to 15% from zero and that on TVs to 15% from 10%, according to the Finance Ministry.
Duty on digital cameras, video cameras and projectors was doubled to 20%.
India’s electronics imports grew about 31% to $29.8 billion during April to October from a year earlier, the steepest increase after shipments of ores and gems.
While the latter feed into reexports, mobile phones and TVs are for domestic consumption and account for 12% of total imports, contributing to a widening current account deficit.
Moving production of similar goods to domestic factories would also boost Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ push and help contain India’s trade shortfall with China. The gap was about $49 billion last year, by far India’s biggest bilateral deficit.
By Shruti Srivastava