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Smartphone, TV import duties hiked

New Delhi: The Government on Friday hiked import duty on smartphones, television sets, microwave, LED lamps and some other electronic items in a bid to protect domestic manufacturers. Imported smartphones will cost more with customs duty on them being increased to 15 per cent from nil now, the Finance Ministry said in a notification.
The move will impact telecom companies that were sourcing cheap smartphones to offer bundled services to customers in a bid to capture market. Customs duty on television sets has been doubled to 20 per cent.
LED lamps would now be charged with a 20 per cent import duty, the notification issued Thursday night said. The tax on import of microwave ovens too has been doubled to 20 per cent, the notification said.
Customs duty on video recording equipment as well as TV cameras has been increased to 15 per cent from current 10 per cent. Import duty on set top boxes has been doubled to 20 per cent.
Also, customs duty on lamps and lighting fittings including searchlights and chandeliers has been doubled to 20 per cent while the same on electricity meters has been increased from 10 per cent to 15 per cent, the notification said.
Consumer electronics and appliance makers welcomed the government's decision, saying the move will boost the domestic manufacturing industry and give a push to the Make in India initiative. "This is a significant step as it will boost the domestic manufacturing industry and give a fillip to the government's Make in India initiative," Videocon Chief Manufacturing Officer Abhijit Kotnis said. He further said this will also encourage foreign consumer durables companies to manufacture products in India rather than importing them.
CEAMA President Manish Sharma said: "We have been pushing the government to increase the basic customs duty for CBUs imported into the country which in turn will benefit the overall domestic ACE industry."
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