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Govt lets auto, consumer goods excise duty sops stay till 31 Dec

In a relief to the automobile and consumer durable sectors, the government on Wednesday extended the excise duty concession by six months to 31 December. The government had cut excise duty on cars, SUVs and two-wheelers as well as consumer durables in the Interim Budget in February to help the industry tide over a demand slump.

The concessions were valid till 30 June and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the extension till the year end. ‘Considering the present situation in various sectors, the government today (Wednesday) has decided to extend the facility of this reduced excise duty to all those sections for a further period of six months, i.e., they will continue till 31 December, 2014,’ he told reporters here.
Excise duty on small cars, scooters, motorcycles and commercial vehicles will continue at 8 per cent from 12 per cent previously. The factory gate duty on SUVs stands at the reduced rate of 24 per cent as against 30 per cent. The duty on large cars will continue at 24 per cent compared with 27 per cent earlier, while the duty on mid-sized cars will stand at 20 per cent from 24 per cent.
Excise duty on capital goods and consumer durables will continue to attract a lower duty of 10 per cent as against the pre-budget rate of 12 per cent.

Asked about the loss of revenue due to the extension of these concessions, Jaitley said the short-term loss will benefit the economy in the long run. Commenting on the excise cut extension on automobiles till 31 December, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Vice Chairman and Whole-Time Director Shekar Viswanathan said: ‘The auto industry is going through difficult times and we expect the government would take cognisance of this when coming out with the new financial  bill in July 2014’.
Renault India Country CEO and Managing Director Sumit Sawhney said the extension of excise duty reduction for automobiles is a welcome move and a step in right direction by the government, fortifying its intent to support the progress in the auto sector.

‘We would like the government to take a long term view to have a unified excise duty structure and look forward to further reduction in the duty,’ he added. SIAM President Vikram Kirloskar said the extension of the reduced excise duty will contribute positively to improve the buyer sentiment and would help in bringing about a sustained recovery in the automotive industry that has been languishing for over two years now.

‘This will go a long way in bringing back growth, investments in the industry as well as encourage higher employment,’ he added.
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