Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his first Budget gave some relief to income tax payers. He sharply hiked the prices of tobacco products while making some goods like footwear, TV and soap cheaper.
What is Cheaper
TVs: To encourage domestic production of LCD and LED TV, Mr Jaitley proposed to reduce the basic customs duty on LCD and LED TV panels of below 19 inches from 10 per cent to zero. He also proposed to exempt from basic customs duty on specified inputs used in their manufacture of LCD and LED TV. Colour picture tubes have also been exempted from basic customs duty to make cathode ray TVs cheaper.
Computers: To boost domestic production, the government proposed exemption of all inputs/components used in the manufacture of personal computers from 4 per cent special additional duty.
Footwear: To provide some relief to the footwear industry, most of which are in SME sector, Mr Jaitley proposed to reduce the excise duty from 12 per cent to 6 per cent on footwear of retail price exceeding Rs 500 per pair but not exceeding Rs 1,000 per pair. Footwear of retail price up to Rs 500 per pair will continue to remain exempted.
Precious and semi-precious stones: To encourage exports, pre-forms of precious and semi-precious stones are being fully exempted from basic customs duty.
Soap: Basic customs duty on crude glycerin used in the manufacture of soaps has been cut to nil from 12.5 per cent.
Cigarette, pan masala and tobacco products: Mr Jaitley proposed to hike excise duty on cigarettes by 11-72 per cent. Similar increases are proposed on cigars, cheroots and cigarillos. The excise duty on pan masala will be hiked from 12 per cent to 16 per cent, unmanufactured tobacco, from 50 per cent to 55 per cent, and on gutkha and chewing tobacco, from 60 per cent to 70 per cent.
Soft drinks: An additional duty of excise at 5 per cent has been proposed on aerated waters containing added sugar.
Imported electronic products: The Budget proposed education cess, which is currently at 3 per cent, on some imported electronic products to provide parity between domestically produced goods and imported goods.
Diamond: Semi-processed, half cut or broken diamonds are presently exempt from basic customs duty. As against this, cut and polished diamonds and coloured gemstones attract basic customs duty of 2 per cent. The avoid assessment disputes, the basic customs duty on semi-processed, half cut or broken diamonds, cut and polished diamonds and coloured gemstones is being rationalized at 2.5 per cent.