September 27, 2018 / 12:28 PM / 8 months ago

India could introduce more import curbs: finance ministry source

An India Rupee note is seen in this illustration photo June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration/Files

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India will soon announce steps to boost exports, while not ruling out further import curbs, a senior finance ministry source said on Thursday.

India on Wednesday raised import tariffs on 19 “non-essential items”, in a bid to reduce a widening current account deficit and tackle a dramatic slide in the rupee.

The finance ministry expects the tariff hike, on goods including air conditioners, refrigerators, footwear and aviation turbine fuel, will raise 40 billion rupees ($551 million) annually, the source, who declined to be identified, told reporters.

Another senior finance ministry official earlier added the ministry saw no impact on Indian airlines from its decision to impose a 5 percent import duty on jet fuel, after shares of companies including Jet Airways fell on Thursday.

The first source said the finance ministry expects robust economic growth despite the fall in the rupee and rising crude oil prices, but would need to conserve its foreign exchange reserves.

($1 = 72.5900 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Manoj Kumar, Writing by Alasdair Pal; Editing by Malini Menon and Nick Macfie

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