Cars, air travel, movies & eating out to be costlier

Last Updated 29 February 2016, 12:01 IST

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 Budget 2016-17.

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, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today came down heavily on smokers and tobacco consumers by imposing up to 15 per cent 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 per cent," 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 1 lakh - on new purchases as the Finance Minister announced infrastructure cess of up to 4 per cent 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 per cent on diesel cars of certain capacity and 4 per cent 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 per cent.

Diesel driven vehicles of length not exceeding 4 meter and engine capacity not exceeding 1,500cc will attract a cess of 2.5 per cent, while other higher engine capacity and SUVs and bigger sedans would be levied at 4 per cent. Moreover, cars priced above Rs 10 lakh will also attract tax of 1 per cent at source.

"I also propose to collect tax at source at the rate of 1 per cent on purchase of luxury cars exceeding value of Rs 10 lakh and purchase of goods and services in cash exceeding Rs two lakh," Jaitley said.

After the Budget announcements, air travel will become expensive due increase in excise duty on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) to 14 per cent from 8 per cent 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 per cent from 18 per cent earlier.

Branded readymade garments costing Rs 1,000 or more will become costlier as the excise duty on them has been increased to 2 per cent without CENVAT credit from nil earlier. Customs duty on imported imitation jewelery has gone up from 10 per cent to 15 per cent while customs duty on industrial solar water heater has increased from 7.5 per cent to 10 per cent which will make these items costlier.

Locally manufactured mobiles will become costlier by about 1 per cent 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 per cent.Traveling by hiring air-conditioned stage carriage will also become more expensive as it will now come under service tax with a rate of 5.6 per cent. Smart watches will also be dearer as they will now be subjected to retail sales price-based assessment of excise duty with an abatement of 35 per cent.

Hiring of agency to pack and move household items while shifting premises will also become expensive as it will now attract a service tax of 5.6 per cent as against 4.2 per cent earlier.
Imported golf cars will be dearer as customs duty on them has been hiked to 60 per cent from 10 per cent.

Lottery tickets will also become expensive as that will come in the service tax net, while imported e-reading devices will be dearer as it will now attract basic customs duty of 7.5 per cent as against nil earlier.

Other items that will become dearer include instruments for VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and refined gold bars manufactured from gold dore 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 per cent from 12.5 per cent. Solar lamps will also cost less as they have been exempted from excise duty. Earlier it was taxed at 12.5 per cent.

Router, broadband modems and set top boxes will become cheaper as excise duty on these products have been reduced to 4 per cent without CENVAT credit from 12.5 per cent earlier.Digital video recorder and CCTV cameras will also be cheaper as these items have been exempted from excise from 12.5 per cent earlier.

Hybrid electric vehicles are set to be cheaper as the engine will attract a lower excise duty of 6 per cent from 12.5 per cent earlier. In order to bring down the cost of kidney dialysis of patients suffering from end-stage renal disease, excise duty on disposable sterilised dialyser from been reduced to NIL from 12.5 per cent 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 per cent earlier.

Sanitary pads napkins and tampoons will also become cheaper as customs duties on key ingredients -- wood pulp and super absorbent polymer have been cut by 2.5 per cent.
Braille paper will also be cheaper as it has been exempted from customs duty. It was earlier subjected to 10 per cent 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 metres under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and any housing scheme of state government.

(Published 29 February 2016, 11:43 IST)

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