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GST hike to derail mobile industry, lead to job losses, says ICEA

New Delhi: Increasing GST on mobile phones to 18 per cent from 12 per cent at the time of economic slowdown coupled with coronavirus

outbreak will derail the industry and lead to job losses, industry body ICEA said on Sunday.

The India Cellular and Electronics Association said

the decision will put a burden of Rs 15,000 crore on common man and adversely impact

over 100 crore Indian consumers.

"When coronavirus is spreading panic, economic slowdown is at its peak, consumer sentiment is battered and stock markets are in free-fall, increasing GST is both counter-intuitive and insensitive. This will lead to immediate job losses and severely dampen future investments in manufacturing," ICEA Chairman Pankaj Mohindroo said in a statement. He said that till June 2017 consumers were paying 4-5 per cent value added tax and 1 per cent on excise duty and later they were burdened with 12 per cent GST which has been further increased to 18 per cent.

"The 18 per cent GST hike will also bring back the bad old days of early 2000s when the grey market in mobile phones was rampant at 90 per cent. It reverses years of painstaking efforts by governments and industry to increase mobile manufacturing and penetration by sensible policy interventions and tax rationalisation," Mohindroo said.

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