In a bid to boost consumption to pull the economy out of the worst slowdown in 11 years, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, presenting her second Union Budget, announced cuts in personal income tax and extended tax benefits for affordable housing.
Another focus of the Budget was giving a “level-playing field” to domestic manufacturers in a bid to boost Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ scheme. To encourage domestic companies, Sitharaman announced that customs duty would be raised on a variety of products ranging from tableware and kitchenware to electrical appliances, footwear, furniture, stationery and toys.
Sitharaman, whose Budget speech lasted 2 hours 30 minutes — the longest by any finance minister, also proposed to impose a nominal health cess on the import of medical equipment to boost the domestic medical devices sector.
Items that will become costlier:
Imported furniture — Seats, articles of bedding, including mattresses, lamps, lighting, illuminated signs
Imported medical equipment
Cigarettes, tobacco products
Household items — Tableware/kitchenware made of porcelain or China ceramic, clay iron, steel, copper, glassware, padlocks, brooms, hand sieves, combs, vacuum flasks
Electrical equipment– Fans, food grinders/mixers, shavers and hair removing appliances, water heaters, hair/hand drying apparatus, ovens, cookers, toasters, coffee/ tea makers, insect repellents, heaters, irons
Stationery items — Filing cabinets, paper trays, binders, clips, staples, sign-plates, name plates, numbers and symbols made from base metal
Parts of commercial vehicles, other than electric vehicles
Toys — Tricycles, scooters, scale models, dolls
Certain alcoholic beverages
Imported electric vehicles
Items that will become cheaper:
Light weight coated paper, newsprint
Sports goods — Willow allowed duty free import up to 3% of FOB value of sports goods exported in the preceding financial year
Anti-dumping duty on purified terephthalic acid (PTA) abolished
Raw sugar, agro-animal based products, Tuna bait, skimmed milk, soya fibre, soya protein
Microphone and parts: Microphone cartridge, microphone holder, microphone grill, microphone body
Precious metals: Platinum and Palladium
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