Representative image Photograph:( Others )
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley concluded his budget speech a short while ago. The budget 2018-19 focussed primarily on the rural and agricultural economy and promised a brighter future for the healthcare sector.
No change has been proposed in personal Income tax slab rates.
This year's budget is likely to make electronic items like laptops, mobile phones and television sets expensive.
The finance minister decided to keep the tax rates of most of the products unchanged. However, the government has decided to rationalise customs duty for several products, a move that will impact the final price of many products.
In a bid to promote PM Modi's flagship programme, 'Make in India', the government has decided to tweak customs duty of some products. Prices of imported goods will get impacted.
The government today proposed to double the customs duty on imported panels to 15 per cent from existing 7.5 per cent with an aim to encourage local manufacturing.
A hike in customs duty is likely to make luxury cars dearer.
"I propose to increase customs duty on mobile phones from 15 per cent to 20 per cent, on some of their parts and accessories to 15 per cent, and on certain parts of TVs to 15 per cent," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his budget speech.
Also read: Top takeaways from Union Budget 2018
There is substantial potential for domestic value addition in certain sectors, like food processing, electronics, auto components, footwear and furniture, he added.
"This measure will promote the creation of more jobs in the country," Jaitley said.
Cashews, fuel, machine tools, solar panels, footwear are items that are likely to cost less.
Customs duty for cashews has been slashed by 2.5%. Imported machine tools and accessories used in the manufacturing sector have seen a drop in the customs duty from 7.5% to 2.5%. Solar panels and green technology enjoy zero customs duty now.
Customs duty on perfumes, dental hygiene, after-shave, deodorants, room deodorizers, haircare products doubled to 20 per cent.
Processed foods, beauty products, cars and motorbikes, silk clothing, footwear, jewellery, furniture that have been imported will be more expensive.
Other items to cost more would include silver, gold, fruit juices, miscellaneous food preparations other than soy protein; sunscreen, oral dental hygiene products, denture fixative pastes and powders, dental floss, shaving items, toiletries, diamonds, watches and clocks, scooters, video game consoles, cigarettes, vegetable oils, among others.
Last year's budget saw items like LED lamps, solar panels, printed circuit boards for mobiles, micro ATMs, finger-print machines and Iris scanners becoming cheaper.
Items like silver coins and commodities like cigarettes and tobacco, bidis, pan masala, goods imported through parcels, water filter membranes and cashew nuts became more expensive.