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Small cars, drugs to be cheaper
February 29, 2008 12:39 IST
Last Updated: February 29, 2008 15:46 IST
Consumers can now enjoy cheaper cars, two-wheelers, set top boxes, while they will have to pay more for their smoke and mobile handsets, thanks to Budget proposals made by Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
And Chidambaram has ensured that consumers have much more savings in taxes to be able to afford many luxuries such owning small or hybrid cars by proposing lenient levies on personal income that could help an individual save up to Rs 44,000 per year.
At the same time, the Finance Minister has laid the ground for cheaper fertilisers for farmers by reducing customs duty on crude and unrefined sulphur as also phosphoric acid used for making the agri-nutrients.
Simultaneously, the feed for chicken and other livestock will also be cheaper with the Budget proposing cutting down customs duty on bactofuges and feed additives and pre-mixes.
But, the gesture for health care is the most significant one with the Budget cutting down customs duty on six specified drugs and bulk drugs while slashing by half the excise duty at eight per cent on drug formulations and exempting anti-AIDS drug Atazanavir and bulk drug for its manufacture.
The Finance Minister, in the Budget tabled in the Parliament today, proposed to reduce excise duty on small cars from 16 per cent to 12 per cent. Similarly, he has proposed to remove excise duty completely on electric cars, while the same on hybrid ones would come down to 14 per cent from 24 per cent earlier.
Two-wheelers buyers can also expect reduced prices as the Finance Minister proposed to cut excise duty by four per cent to bring it down to 12 per cent.
In the financial statement, the government also announced to slash customs duty on raw materials for making ELISA kits to five per cent.
With summers approaching, the government has sought to take the heat off packaged tender coconut water by completely exempting excise duty on it. The Budget also proposes to exempt excise duties on milk containing edible nuts, tea, coffee pre-mixes and puffed rice.
The Finance Minister has not been as generous with the smokers, as he has doubled the customs duty on cigarettes, cheroots, cigarillos, to 60 per cent. The Budget also proposes to make cement clinkers, packaged software, naphta costlier.