Centre hikes import duty on platinum

Import duty on platinum has been increased to a total of 15.4 per cent with effect from Monday through a notification by the Finance Ministry.

Platinum and palladium for use in manufacture of precious metal chemicals, compounds (noble metal compounds and solutions) and catalytic converters will continue at basic customs duty of 7.5 per cent subject to IGCR. Rhodium will also continue with BCD of 2.5 per cent.

It is being presumed that the increase in duty on platinum is to plug a loophole which is helping bullion importers to make record profits.

As per reports some bullion importers are importing refined gold disguised as platinum alloy.

Gold attracts 15 per cent import duty, as opposed to platinum alloy that invites a duty of 10.75 per cent which observers say is a case of misdeclaration and duty violation.

There were reports that the customs had cleared consignments since the loophole in the notification have not clearly defined alloys of precious metals. The consignments of platinum alloy contained 96 per cent gold and some importers are importing refined gold under the guise of platinum alloy and making bullion bars.

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