The government today increased import duty on gold, silver and platinum to 10 percent with a view to arrest the declining value of rupee and contain the fiscal deficit to 3.7 percent of the GDP.
"...the basis customs duty on standard gold and platinum (increased) from 8 percent to 10 per cent and on silver from 6 percent to 10 percent", said a notification issued by the Finance Ministry.
The government has also raised the duty on gold ore/ concentrates/dore bars and silver dore bars ranging from 7 percent to 10 percent.
"The revenue implications of these changes are estimated at Rs 4830 crore for the remaining part of the financial year at current levels of import", the Ministry said.
The government has also raised the excise duty on refined gold bar produced from gold ore/ concentrate and gold/silver dore bars or during copper smelting from 7 per cent to 9 per cent.
The notification further said that excise duty on silver manufactured from silver ore or concentrates, silver/gold dore bars or during copper, zinc or led smelting from 4 per cent to 8 per cent. These notifications were tabled in Parliament today. The gold import in the current fiscal, according to official estimates, was likely to come down to 850 tonnes from 950 tonnes in 2012-13.
The hike in duty follows the announcement made by Finance Minister P Chidambaram yesterday that government will take steps to compress demand of precious metals with a view to check the sliding rupee value and contain Current Account Deficit (CAD) to 3.7 per cent in 2013-14. CAD touched all all time high of 4.8 per cent of the GDP in 2012-13.
As regards the non-essential items, an official said that the Ministry was working on it and notifications would be made in the due course. The rupee, on account of various domestic and global factors, had slipped to 61.80 to a dollar earlier in the month. It was trading at around 61 to a dollar.