For a common man there are two major things that we look in budget. One change is income tax and second how the budget is going to impact our household budget. Keeping this in mind here is a list of products and services which got expensive or cheaper.
Let’s start with good news first.
Budget 2013 – Things which got Cheaper:
Gems and Jewellery – Customs duty has been cut to 2% from 10% on pre-forms of precious and semi-precious stones.
Imported Jewellery – Duty-free limit on imported jewellery has been raised to Rs 50,000 in the case of a male passenger and Rs 100,000 in the case of a female passenger provided they have stayed abroad for more than a year.
Leather Footwear and products – the Excise duty has been cut on leather goods from 7.5% to 5%.
Readymade Garments/ Branded Apparels – Excise duty on readymade garments have been exempted. Last year, 10% excise duty was levied on 30% of the maximum retail price (MRP) i.e. 3% effective duty.
Home Furnishing and Décor – Excise duty on Carpets and other textile floor coverings of coir or jute have been exempted.
Branded Non-Allopathic medicines – An abatement of 35% on the excise duty on MRP based assessment in respect of branded medicaments of Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy and bio-chemic systems of medicine has been proposed.
Imported cheaper hazel nuts and dehulled oat grain – Imported hazel nuts will also become cheaper as the customs duty has been reduced to 10% from 30% and for dehulled oat grain customs duty has been cut to 15% from 30% earlier.
Budget 2013 – Things which got Expensive:
Set Top Box – Duty hiked on set top boxes from 5% to 10%.
Mobile – the excise duty has been hiked from 1% to 6% for mobiles with MRP of more than Rs. 2,000.
Air Conditioned Restaurants – now eating out in air conditioned restaurants has become costlier as service tax has been imposed on them. At present, service tax of 12% does not apply to A/C restaurants that do not serve liquor.
Parking fees – Now parking your car in parking lots and malls would become costlier as service tax of 12.36% has been imposed on this service.
Cigarette and Cigar – the excise duty has been raised from 10% to 18%.
Big/Luxury Housing – Homes and flats with a carpet area of 2,000 sq ft or more or of a value of Rs 1 crore will also become more expensive as the rate of abatement for this class of buildings has been reduced from 75% to 70%. This would mean increase in service tax payment from 3.09% to 3.71%. For a one crore house this would translate into additional outgo of Rs. 62,000.
Marble flooring – excise duty on marbles has been doubled to Rs 60 per square meter.
Imported Silk – the customs duty has been hiked to 15% from existing 5%.
Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) – Excise duty on SUVs have been hiked from 27% to 30%. SUVs registered as taxies have been exempted from these hikes.
Imported Cars and Motorcycles – Customs duty on new passenger cars and other motor vehicles (high-end cars) costing more than USD 40,000 and/or engine capacity exceeding 3,000cc for petrol run vehicles and exceeding 2500 cc for diesel run vehicles has been hiked 100% from 75% earlier.
Yachts and similar vessels – Custom Duty raised from 10% to 25%.
I think some of hikes on luxury goods and cigarettes are justified but I would give thumbs down to increase of duty on mobile phones, set top boxes and Parking fees. Parking at most places is anyway not regulated properly and I really wonder the increased fee collected on the name of service tax would reach Government.
Smart phones are rapidly increasing internet penetration in India and so increasing excise duty seems restrictive policy. The increase might have been done on phones with MRP of more than Rs. 15,000 than Rs 2,000.
There is a push for digitization of TV and increasing customs duty at this time is again not called for.