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Government Considering More Import Curbs To Prop Up Rupee: Report

The government is trying to curb overseas shipments to prevent a further widening of the current-account deficit and stem the fall of the rupee.

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Government Considering More Import Curbs To Prop Up Rupee: Report

India is trying to curb overseas shipments to prevent a further widening of the current-account deficit

Highlights

  1. Rupee has been plummeting for 6 months in longest stretch since 2002
  2. Trade deficit stands at 2.4% of GDP, more than 1.9% in March
  3. Government last month raised import tariffs on 19 products

The government 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 Delhi as early as this week to review measures including curbs to curtail the trade gap, they said. Finance ministry spokesman DS Malik declined to comment.

India is trying to curb overseas shipments to prevent a further widening of the current-account deficit and stem the fall of the rupee. The currency, which has been plummeting for six straight months in the longest stretch since 2002, is seen hitting 75 per dollar by year-end, according to median of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

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The trade deficit represented 2.4 percent of gross domestic product, more than the 1.9 percent 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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