The government has raised the customs duty on precious metal platinum to 15.4 per cent from 10.75 per cent in a bid to curb its import. According to a notification of the Finance Ministry, the revised import duty on platinum of 15.4 per cent is effective from Monday. The government in July increased the import duty on gold to 15 per cent but kept the tax on platinum imports unchanged at 10.75 per cent.
The duty difference provided some bullion importers importing refined gold disguised as platinum alloy by paying a lower duty of 10.75 per cent. As a result, platinum imports last month surged multifold to a record high as refiners imported a large amount of gold containing small amounts of platinum at lower duty of 10.75 per cent. The parity in the duty structure is intended at plugging the loophole of duty difference.