New Delhi, Jan. 24 (PTI): In one more round of give-aways ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the government has cut custom duties on a number of raw material goods used in information technology, telecom, automobiles and manufacturing sectors to 10-15 per cent.
According to a notification issued by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), the customs duties on various categories of steel items have been brought down to 15 per cent.
According to the notification, duties have been cut on a whole range of products to either 15 per cent or 10 per cent.
Official sources said the duty cut is part of the commitment under the framework of free trade area agreement with Thailand.
Goods on which the slash is 10 per cent include ‘spring steel quality’ and ‘free cutting steel’ used in fuel injection parts; ‘valve steel alloy steel bars’ and ‘alloy steel of various grades’ used to manufacture engine valves and ‘bis-phenol a’ used in all the goods.
Customs duty on silico-manganese steel used in fuel injection parts has also been cut to 10 per cent. These duties specified in the notification are the ‘ad valorem’ rates.
Manufacturers of consumer goods, automobiles and ball bearings are expected to benefit from the slash in customs duties on over 30 items like aluminium foils and tubes.
However, the duty cut is subject to the condition that the importer follows the procedure set out in the customs (import of goods at concessional rate of duty for manufacture of excisable goods) rules, 1996.
The duty cuts come close on the heels of a number of initiatives by the Centre for all the sectors of the economy, including agriculture, industry and services. Goods on which the duty has been lowered to 10 per cent include bearing quality alloy steel wire rods, bright bar, alloy steel round bars, copper tubes and refined copper cathodes.
The duty on bars and rods of high speed steel used in fuel injection parts, valve steel alloy steel bars used in engine valves, seamless steel tubes used in piston pins has also been brought down to 10 per cent. Duty on copper tubes has been slashed to 15 per cent and that on a variety of aluminium items to 10 per cent.
In his mini-budget on January 8, finance minister Jaswant Singh had brought down peak rate of customs duty to 20 per cent from 25 per cent and abolished the four per cent special additional customs duty.