Your monthly budget might have to be tweaked, given the proposals announced in the Union Budget. While your soaps and detergents might become cheaper, the aerated drinks your children love to guzzle might become costlier. You can buy some of the latest sports gear for your child without much hesitation, as sports gloves will now get cheaper.
The finance minister has proposed doing away with the customs duty on raw material used for making soap. Currently, the basic customs duty (BCD) on fatty acids, crude palm stearin, RBD and other stearins and specified industrial grade crude oils used for manufacturing soaps and oleo-chemicals is 7.5 per cent. Similarly, BCD on crude glycerin used in the manufacture of soaps has also been reduced from 12.5 per cent to nil.
To encourage a healthier lifestyle and discourage tobacco consumption, the FM has proposed increasing the specific duty on cigarettes, cigars, cheroots and cigarillos by 11-72 per cent. The excise duty on pan masala has been increased from 12 to 16 per cent, on un-manufactured tobacco from 50 to 55 per cent and on gutkha and chewing tobacco from 60 to 70 per cent.
There is also an additional excise duty of five per cent on aerated waters containing added sugar, which could push up the prices of soft drinks.
“These are healthy measures and I hope everyone would welcome them from the point of view of human and fiscal health,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.
To encourage sports, the FM has proposed concessional excise duty of two per cent without Cenvat benefit and six per cent with Cenvat benefit on sports gloves. Garments, which use spandex yarn could also become cheaper as specified inputs which are used in the manufacture of spandex yarn have been exempt from BCD.
Tinned fruits, packed fruit juice and packaged meat and poultry products could also see a reduction in price since the excise duty on specified food processing and packaging machinery has been reduced from 10 per cent to six per cent.
BCD on denatured ethyl alcohol has been reduced from 7.5 per cent to 7 per cent. Since this is largely used in the manufacture of deodorants and cosmetics, prices of these products could see a decrease, said Sumit Lunker, partner – indirect tax, BDO India LLP.
Buying a personal computer for your family use will also be cheaper, as all inputs and components used in the manufacture of PCs have been exempted from four per cent special additional duty. But imported electronic products will now attract education cess.
Smaller television sets will be cheaper since the FM has proposed to do away with BCD on LCD and LED TVs below 19 inches. Even LCD and LED television sets, which are more than 19 inches, will become cheaper because inputs used in their manufacture have been exempted from BCD.
For those who cannot afford LED or LCD TVs, the FM has proposed exempting colour picture tubes from BCD, which will make cathode ray TVs cheaper.
“The government wants to promote manufacturing in India,” said Bipin Sapra, Tax Partner, EY.
If you are fond of shoes, then you can indulge yourself, provided the price of your footwear is less than Rs 1,000. The FM has proposed a reduction in excise duty from 12 per cent to six per cent on footwear if the retail price is between Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.
The Budget has proposed to withdraw the concessional excise duty (two per cent without Cenvat benefit and six per cent with Cenvat benefit) on smart cards and levy a uniform excise duty at 12 per cent. Consequently, imports will attract higher CVD. This will help domestic industry, the finance minister said. This could impact prices of smart cards used in gaming zones at malls and pre-paid cards, Sapra said.
You will have to pay more for radio taxis, as they have been brought under the service tax net. Service tax has also been introduced for rooms at dharmashala or ashram, if the price is more than Rs 1,000. So, a pilgrimage might cost you more, said Lunker. Hiring an air-conditioned bus for sight-seeing will also now attract service tax.