The decision to hike customs duty on nearly 45 items including mobile phones in the Budget 2018 by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley should not be seen with the perspective of protectionist tendencies, CBEC Chairperson Vanaja N Sarna on Tuesday said.
The decision to hike customs duty on nearly 45 items including mobile phones in the Budget 2018 by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley should not be seen with the perspective of protectionist tendencies, CBEC Chairperson Vanaja N Sarna on Tuesday said. She emphasized that customs duty enhancement on nearly 45 items of mass consumption in Budget 2018-19 is meant to push ‘Make in India’.
“This move is not at all inflationary and that it singularly aims at promoting ”Make in India’ in items of huge mass needs as each MSME would want to take part in the phased manufacturing programme of India as per which manufacturing requires to be encouraged in smaller items such as mobile phones and their parts, auto parts, candles, watches and so on so forth,” Vanaja N Sarna stressed.
Addressing a post-Budget interactive session by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday, Vanaja N Sarna also added that recent changes and modifications made into Indian Customs Act would promote trade facilitation and, therefore, progressive steps on this front have been introduced in the Budget 2018-19. Similarly, several other measures have been inducted in the Budget proposals for the next fiscal so that the flow of trade and services is expanded rather than restricted, she added.
Speaking on the issue, CBDT Chairman Sushil Chandra explained that the government tax data revealed that salaried class was much more forthcoming and pro-active on payment of personal taxes rather than business community which contributed a personal tax amounting to Rs.44,000 crores as against 1,48,000 crores of personal taxation that accrued to the government through salaried class in the recent times and called that it is this class which deserves a better deal.
Disagreeing with the criticism that the current Budget ignored middle class, he clarified that raising the standard exemption to Rs 40,000 per individual will mean a total relief of Rs 8,000 crores.