M A I N   N E W S

Excise duty unchanged, boost for auto, telecom
Sanjeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 28
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today did not hike excise duties as was feared and retained the rate of standard Excise duty at 10 per cent in the Budget.

However, he has brought 130 items under the tax net by withdrawing exemptions granted earlier, though the burden would only be of the order of 1 per cent. Most of these relate to the consumer goods sector.

The FM also provided relief measures to equipment used in food and agro-processing and for environment friendly vehicles and cement. Excise duty was hiked on certain electronic parts used in computers.

Amit Rathi, MD, Anand Rathi FInancial Services said there had been no rollback of excise rates and broadly untouched direct tax regime. These are steps were towards aligning the tax regime to the DTC and the Goods and Service tax GST.

The Budget though made branded ready-made garments more expensive by levying Excise duty of 10 per cent. Items like sugar confectionary, pastry and cakes, paper, drugs, medical equipment also become more expensive with hike in Excise duty.

Sanitary napkins, baby and adult diapers became cheaper as did mobile handsets. Venugopal Dhoot, chairman, Videocon Group said, “We welcome the FM’s decision to further lower prices on mobile handsets. This will provide a further fillip to mobile phone penetration in the urban and rural part of the country by widening the base of users, thus, providing them an access to better services and user friendly handsets”.

Angel Broking said that the auto sector would get a boost as the central Excise duty has been kept unchanged. Further, special incentives has been announced for companies manufacturing hybrid vehicles in India.

SN Rai, Co — Founder & Director, LAVA International said that in mobile phones there had been a reduction on cost of component which would help manufacturing.

Sajjan Jindal, VC & MD, JSW Steel said the hike on export duty on iron ore fines and lumps to 20% advalorem will lead to greater value addition.





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