In a disappointment for potential smartphone buyers, government on Monday increased customs duty on cell phones soon after the launch of historic Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the nation. The government announced levy of 10 per cent basic customs duty (BCD) on cellular mobile phones, specified parts and certain electronic goods. With the imposition of new BCDs, cellular mobile phones and specified parts of cellular mobile phones like charger, battery, wire headset, Microphone and Receiver, Key Pad, USB Cable are set get costlier. The present exemption from basic customs duty on specified parts of mobiles, namely, Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA), Camera Module, Connectors Display Assembly, Touch Panel / Cover Glass Assembly, Vibrator Motor / Ringer will continue, the release added. Along with that, inputs and raw material for the manufacture of parts of above-specified electronics goods including mobile phones will also continue to be exempt from BCD, that is, no change in the price of these goods will take place.
“Government had constituted Inter-Ministerial Committee [IMC], comprising of officers from Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), the Department of Commerce (DoC), Department of Telecommunication (DoT) and Department of Revenue (DoR) to identify electronic/ IT/ telecom products, which are not Information Technology Agreement [ITA] – I bound, for customs duty enhancement on them,” a government release said.
Earlier, in a historic moment, country’s biggest economic reform since Independence, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was rolled out at Friday midnight at the historic Central Hall of the Parliament. The event saw the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Pranab Mukherjee, among other prominent leaders of the country. PM described GST as Good and Simple Tax (GST) – a catchphrase to abolish the apprehensions of text being complex and typical to understand.