Come August 26,fliers can no longer import flat screen TVs as free baggage

The government on Monday disallowed the import of flat panel television as part of free baggage allowance for air travellers.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: August 20, 2013 3:23 am

The government on Monday disallowed the import of flat panel television as part of free baggage allowance for air travellers.

The move comes amid a falling rupee and a widening current account deficit,made worse by rising import.

However,a government official said that the move was aimed at “protecting domestic industry,after representations were received from them regarding the issue”.

“In baggage rules 1998… after item relating to gold or silver,in any form,other than ornaments,flat panel,including LCD,LED,and plasma television shall be inserted,” a customs notification tabled in Parliament said. However,the notification said,the revenue impact of the move is “not quantifiable”.

Once the notification becomes effective August 26,travellers bringing in flat screen TV as part of baggage would have to pay customs duty at the rate of 35 per cent along with an education cess of 3 per cent,making the effective rate 36.05 per cent.

Currently,air travellers can import TV worth up to Rs 35,000 as part of their baggage allowance.

Earlier,finance minister P Chidambaram had said the government was working on curtailing import of luxury items and non-essential goods to bring down the import and curb the current account deficit (CAD).

Earlier last week,to contain the dollar outflow,the government had raised import duty on gold and silver to 10 per cent.

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