Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech for 2017-18 on Wednesday said his proposals on excise and customs duties will not result in any significant loss or gain to the exchequer. But for the common citizen, a host of items will become more expensive, while some will get cheaper.
"Centre, through the Central Board of Excise & Customs, shall continue to strive to achieve the goal of implementation of GST (Goods and Services Tax) as per schedule without compromising the spirit of co-operative federalism," Jaitley said while presenting the Budget.
"Implementation of GST is likely to bring more taxes both to central and state governments because of widening of tax net. I have preferred not to make many changes in current regime of Excise & Service Tax because the same are to be replaced by GST soon," he added.
What will be expensive
Mobile phones, aerated drinks, silver coins, cigarettes and tobacco, bidis, pan masala, goods imported through parcels, water filter membranes and cashew nuts will become more expensive.
Increased excise duty cigarettes – both filter and non-filter ones of various lengths – means that the aggregate increase in their prices will be about 10%. The same goes for cigars and cheeroots, cigarettes of tobacco substitutes, cigarillos of tobacco substitutes and other forms of tobacco substitutes.
If you’re a frequent flier, be prepared to shell out more. Aviation Turbine Fuel is set to be more expensive with an additional excise duty of 14% as opposed to 8% previously.
Branded readymade garments will also become dearer now, along with textile articles with a retail price at least Rs 1000. Jewelry (excluding silver jewellery, unless they’re studded with diamonds or other precious stones) will also cost more.
What will get cheaper
Items like solar panels, micro ATMs, finger-print machines and Iris scanners will potentially become cheaper.
Railway tickets booked through IRCTC will be exempt from service tax.
Basic Customs duty on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) will be halved, making it cheaper. From 5%, the customs duty chargeable in 2017-18 will be 2.5%. LNG can be used for a variety of purposes including to make cooking gas, heat and power generation.
In a bid to push for clean energy, solar tempered glass or anti-reflective coated solar glass will become cheaper for manufacture of solar cells/panels/modules.
Life insurance for our armed forces personnel under central Group Insurance Schemes will become cheaper. Services provided or agreed to be provided by the Army, Naval and Air Force Group Insurance Funds by way of life insurance to members of the Army, Navy and Air Force under the Group Insurance Schemes of the Central Government are being exempted from service tax.
Excise duty on certain motor vehicles has also been reduced, in effect from January 1.
(with IANS inputs)