Footwear stocks rally up to 6% as import duty goes up

Shares of footwear companies rallied up to 6 per cent early Thursday after the government on Wednesday increased import duty on footwear to 25 per cent, from the 20 per cent earlier.

The government on Wednesday decided to raise import tariffs on 19 “non-essential items”, marking a further tilt towards protectionism, as it tries to reduce its widening current account deficit and tackle a sharp slide in the rupee.

The new tariff structure, which goes into effect on Thursday, will see the government raise customs duties on items such as air conditioners, refrigerators, footwear, speakers, luggage and aviation turbine fuel, among other items.

Share price of Liberty Shoes NSE 1.97 % was up 5.58 per cent at Rs 179.90 at around 9.3 am while Sree Leathers rose 3.50 per cent to Rs 206.90. Mirza International, Bata India and Khadim were up 3.26 per cent, 1.43 per cent and 0.11 per cent, respectively.

The total value of imports of the 19 items in 2017-18 was about $11.84 billion (Rs 86,000 crore), the government said in a circular. Total imports in the same period totaled $459.67 billion.

The benchmark BSE Sensex ruled firm, up 108 points, or 0.30 per cent, at 36,651 at around the same time.

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