Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on 28 February 2013 tabled the Union budget in the Lok Sabha of Parliament for the financial year 2013-14.
P. Chidambaram presented his 8th Union Budget. The union Budget of 2013-14 emphasized fast track economic growth with due importance on infrastructure development, skill development, employment generation and funding for social schemes.
In the Union Budget 2013-14, the prices of various commodities and products dwindled. While some of the products witnessed a rise in the price because of an increase in the customs duty, others saw a decline. Prices of some other products, on the other hand remained unaltered because of no change in the customs duty.
An increase in the Customs Duty was announced on following products:
Set-Top Boxes: In order to encourage domestic production of Set Top Boxes, as well as for value addition, the Finance Minister announced the doubling of customs duty on them. Now the duty will be increased from 5% to 10%.
High-End Luxury Cars, Motorcycles, Yachts: The customs duty on imported luxury goods such as high-end motor vehicles, motorcycles, yachts and similar vehicles was increased. In the case of such motor vehicles, the duty was increased from 75% to 100%; on motorcycles with engine capacity of 800 cc or more the duty now will be 75% instead of 60%. Similarly, the duty on yachts and similar vessels was increased from 10% to 25%.
SUVs: The Finance Minister also proposed a 3% increase in the excise duty on SUVs so that the duty on them will go up from 27% to 30%. However, such an increase will not apply to SUVs registered as taxis.
Tobacco-Products: The Finance Minister has proposed to increase the specific excise duty on cigarettes by about 18%. Similar increases are also proposed on cigars, cheroots and cigarillos.
Raw Silk: The duty on raw silk has also been increased from 5% to 15% so as to give a measure of protection to domestic sericulture.
Mobile phones: Expensive mobile phones i.e. mobile phones which are priced at more than Rs. 2000 will also have to bear higher excise duty of 6%. However, mobile phones which are not more than Rs. 2000 will continue to be levied a concessional excise duty of only 1%.
Air-Conditioned Restaurants: All air conditioned restaurants will be brought under the service tax net. At present service tax does not apply to those air conditioned restaurants which do not serve liquor. But now the Finance Minister proposed the uniformity of service tax for the two.
Concessions in customs duty announced:
Duty on certain machinery for manufacture of leather and leather goods reduced: The Union Finance Minister proposed to reduce the duty on specified machinery for manufacture of leather and leather goods, including footwear, by 2.5%. Now the duty on such machinery will be 5% instead of 7.5%.
Duty on pre-forms of precious and semi-precious stones drastically cut: To encourage exports, P. Chidambaram also announced in the Budget 2013-14, a drastic reduction in the duty on pre-forms of precious and semi-precious stones from 10% to a mere 2%.
De-oiled rice bran oil cake: He also announced a total withdrawal of export duty on de-oiled rice bran oil cake.
Handmade carpets and textile floor coverings of coir or jute: The Finance Minister proposed to totally withdraw excise duty from handmade carpets and textile floor coverings of coir or jute.
Other products and services made cheaper are: Handmade carpets, electric and hybrid vehicles, leather and leather goods including footwear, precious and semi-precious stones, rice bran oil cake, readymade garments, textile floor coverings of coir or jute, duty free gold limit increased to 50000 in case of male passenger and 100000 in case of a female passenger, imported cheaper hazel nuts and dehulled oat grain, sabudana (tapioca sago) and truck chasis.