The financial budget as presented by the FM Arun Jaitley, got mixed response from experts, industrialists as well as the common man. While the financial budget promised opportunities wherein citizens will be able to purchase commodities at a lesser rate, there are commodities for which consumers will have to pay more. Similar to the past budget, this year budget also saw increase in tobacco prices making smoking and chewing tobacco more costly.
1. Smoking is no common affair now!
The financial budget introduced a hike in cigarettes excise duty from the current by 25 percentage points. This hike in excise duty is for cigarette lengths below 65 mm. For cigarrete length exceeding 65 mm, excise duty has been hiked by 15 percent. This is the fourth time excise duty has been increased for tobacco and similar products. These hikes in the past four years have been amounted to an excise duty greater than 18 %.
2. Hike in service tax makes outing costlier
The government also proposed various schemes for hiking the import duty on other tobacco related products such as cigarillos, cheroots and cigars. Last year the hike was 22 percent. The present hike in custom duty will mean that to buy a kg of tobacco, purchasers will have to shell 70 rupees instead of 60 rupees. Service tax also saw a hike, to 14 percent from 12.36 percent. This will make eating out, air travel as well as mobile bills much more expensive. This hike in service tax will also mean that sports events and concerts are going to be more dearly for the consumers.
3. Aerated drinks, packaged water to pinch pockets
Even packaged water and aerated drinks such as colas will see a hike. Bad news for beverage and packaged drinking water lovers and this is going to pinch their pockets a bit more. Excise duty on beverage drinks has been increased to 18 %.
4. Leather and shoes will make you happy
Now, time for some good news for shoe lovers. PM Jaitley announced a slew of commodities for which excise duty will be decreased including leather, footwear and shoes, indigenously manufactured mobile handsets, microwaves, tablets, peanut butter, agarbatties and packaged fruits. The budget also announced exemption in service tax for zoo entry tickets, cold-storage facilities as well as ambulance services. Imported medical equipment such as pacemakers and video endoscopes will be cheaper, as CVD and custom duty for these products have been reduced. Similarly, LED as well as LCD sets will be economical. Thus you can buy fancy LCDs ahead of the on-going World Cup and upcoming IPL.
5. For the businessmen
Items that will be cheaper include Ulexite ore, Bituminous coal, ethylene dichloride, liquefied butane, styrene monomer, anthraquinone. These are basically products that are used as basic or ground materials during manufacturing. Reduction in these ground materials will mean more profit for the manufacturers.