Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Photograph:( Reuters )
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget 2018 on Thursday. The budget 2018-19 focussed primarily on the rural and agricultural economy and promised a brighter future for the healthcare sector.
Jaitley announced that the customs duty on mobile phones will be increased to 20% from the previous 15% with a view to encourage "Make in India" and increase job vacancy.
Jaitley also said that customs duty for certain TV parts will also be increased to 15% which were previously in the 7.5%-10% tax slabs.
Commenting on the decision, Indian Cellular Association (ICA) National President Pankaj Mohindroo told PTI that this will be the "last nail in the coffin" of imports.
"We are reaching a situation where imports would be nearly impossible," Mohindroo added. He said since bulk of mobile phones are manufactured domestically, there will be no impact on their prices. The exception will be a few brands, that are still making phones overseas."
"There will be no increase in mobile phone prices since 81% of the volume and 84.5% of value is manufactured in India and we will cross 90% in both terms in 2018," he said.
Toys, sports goods, Video game consoles will also attract a customs duty of 20%, up from 10%.
Ishmeet Singh, Country Manager - India, Mattel Inc. said, “As per the Budget 2018, there has been a substantial increase in customs duty to 20% for the category of Toys and Sports Goods. This combined with the other policy changes that have been implemented over the last 6 months, viz. higher rates of taxes under GST rates and stricter import regulations, will result in an overall increase in the price of toys by more than 20%. While the government of India has recognized the importance of promoting the critical role of play in the overall development of a child, these policy changes might prove to be detrimental to this vision.”
Further, customs duty on crude edible vegetable oils like groundnut oil, safflower seed oil hiked from 12.5% to 30%; on refined edible vegetable oil from 20% to 35%.
Customs duty on imitation jewellery hiked from 15% to 20%; doubled on all watches to 20%.
There will also be an increase in customs duty on sunglasses, cigarette lighter, bus and truck tyres, select furniture. However, import of solar tempered glass for the manufacture of solar cells has been exempted from customs duty.
Here's what Twitterati had to say:
*Custom Duty on Smartphones increases*— arpita gupta (@sweet15arpita) February 1, 2018
Leaves all the work, start searching for the 3 best smartphones currently available and order.
The worst announcement ever ???????????????? #Budget2018
Prices of imported mobile phones to rise on custom duty hike to 20%; boost to Make in India.— H. (@Miister_H) February 1, 2018
You can do that without bringing your bullshit political rhetoric named "make in india".#Budget2018