Indian Budget: Cars, air travel, movies and eating out to be costlier
Cars, locally made mobiles, branded garments, air travel, aerated drinks, cigarettes and smart watches are the among items that will be costlier while footwear, solar lamps and routers are slated to cost less following changes in tax structure in the Indian Budget 2016-17 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament on Monday.
As a result of a new levy, Krishi Kalyan cess, on all services, activities including eating out, watching movies in theaters and payment of bills, will also become more expensive. Continuing the trend set by his predecessors, Jaitley came down heavily on smokers and tobacco consumers by imposing up to 15% excise duty on all tobacco products.
“To discourage consumption of tobacco and tobacco products, I propose to increase the excise duties on various tobacco products other than beedi by about 10% to 15%,” Jaitley said in his Budget speech.
Potential car buyers will have to shell out more — from as low as Rs 3,000 to over Rs 100,000 — on new purchases as the finance minister announced infrastructure cess of up to 4% on vehicles.
“The pollution and traffic situation in Indian cities is a matter of concern. I propose to levy an infrastructure cess of 1 per cent on small petrol, LPG, CNG cars, 2.5% on diesel cars of certain capacity and 4% on other higher engine capacity vehicles and SUVs,” Jaitley said.
Petrol/LPG/CNG-driven vehicles of length not exceeding 4 meters and engine capacity not exceeding 1,200cc would attract a cess of 1%.
Diesel-driven vehicles of length not exceeding 4 meters and engine capacity not exceeding 1,500cc will attract a cess of 2.5%, while other higher engine capacity and SUVs and bigger sedans would be levied at 4%. Moreover, cars priced above Rs 1 million will also attract tax of 1% at source.
After the Budget announcements, air travel will become expensive due increase in excise duty on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) to 14% from 8% besides the additional levy of Krishi Kalyan cess.
Soft drinks and mineral water will also be dearer as Jaitley proposed to hike excise duty on “water including mineral water, aerated water containing added sugar or sweetening matter” to 21% from 18% earlier.
Branded ready-made garments costing Rs 1,000 or more will become costlier as the excise duty on them has been increased to 2% without CENVAT credit from nil earlier. Customs duty on imported imitation jewelry has gone up from 10% to 15% while customs duty on industrial solar water heater has increased from 7.5% to 10% which will make these items costlier.
Locally manufactured mobiles will become costlier by about 1% because government has imposed duty on imported circuit boards used in them.
Availing of legal services through senior advocates or legal firms will cost more as such activity will no longer be exempted from service tax with Jaitley proposing a levy of 14%.
Traveling by hiring air-conditioned stage carriage will also become more expensive as it will come under service tax with a rate of 5.6%.
Smart watches will also be dearer as they will be subjected to retail sales price-based assessment of excise duty with an abatement of 35%.
Hiring of agency to pack and move household items while shifting premises will also become expensive as it will attract a service tax of 5.6% against 4.2% earlier.
Imported golf cars will be dearer as customs duty on them has been hiked to 60% from 10%.
Lottery tickets will become expensive as they will come in the service tax net, while imported e-reading devices will be dearer as it will attract basic customs duty of 7.5% against nil earlier.
Other items that will become dearer include instruments for VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and refined gold bars manufactured from gold doré bars.
On the other hand, footwear will become cheaper as excise duty on rubber sheets and resin rubber sheets for soles and heels have been cut to 6% from 12.5%. Solar lamps will also cost less as they have been exempted from excise duty. Earlier it was taxed at 12.5%.
Router, broadband modems and set top boxes will become cheaper as excise duty on these products have been reduced to 4% without CENVAT credit from 12.5% earlier. Digital video recorder and CCTV cameras will also be cheaper as these items have been exempted from excise from 12.5% earlier.
Hybrid electric vehicles are set to be cheaper as the engine will attract a lower excise duty of 6% from 12.5% earlier. To bring down the cost of kidney dialysis of patients suffering from end-stage renal disease, excise duty on disposable sterilised dialyzer from been reduced to nil from 12.5% earlier.
Microwave ovens made in the country will become cheaper as customs duty on a key imported component — magnetron of capacity 1 KW to 1.5 KW — has been brought down to nil from 10% earlier.
Sanitary pads napkins and tampons will also become cheaper as customs duties on key ingredients — wood pulp and super absorbent polymer — have been cut by 2.5%.
Braille paper will also be cheaper as it has been exempted from customs duty. It was earlier subjected to 10% import duty.
Low cost houses will also become even more affordable as Jaitley did away with service tax on construction services on dwelling units not exceeding 60 square meters under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and any housing scheme of state government.