Union Budget 2023-24: What's cheaper, what do you have to pay more for?
While cigarettes will burn a bigger hole in the smokers’ pockets, camera lenses used to make mobile phones will now cost less. Here’s the list of all items that have become economical or dearer in the 2023 Union Budget
FP Explainers Last Updated:February 01, 2023 16:24:00 IST
The government has increased the tax on certain cigarettes by 16 per cent.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made some major announcements such as increasing the income tax rebate limit from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh under the new tax regime while presenting her fifth Union Budget.
This is the last full-fledged Budget of the Narendra Modi-led government before the 2024 general elections next year.
Sitharaman’s Budget speech also touched on which items will burn a hole in the pocket of the consumers and which will become affordable.
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Let’s take a look at these products. We will also outline the major highlights from Union Budget for the financial year (FY) 2023-24.
What’s getting cheaper?
The central government has said it would slash the customs duty on the import of certain parts and inputs like camera lenses used in mobile phones.
“To further deepen domestic value addition in the manufacture of mobile phones, I propose to provide relief in customs duty on import of certain parts and inputs like camera lens and continue the concessional duty on lithium-ion cells for batteries for another year,” Sitharaman said.
The finance minister stated that the import of capital goods and machinery needed for the production of lithium-ion cells used in batteries of electric vehicles will be exempted from customs duty in order to boost “green mobility”.
“To avoid cascading of taxes on blended compressed natural gas, I propose to exempt excise duty on GST-paid compressed biogas contained in it,” the finance minister announced.
The basic customs duty on parts of open cells of TV panels is also being reduced to 2.5 per cent.
Nirmala Sitharaman said the tax on seeds used in the manufacture of Lab Grown Diamonds will be reduced. AP
The government plans to lessen the basic customs duty on seeds used in the manufacture of Lab Grown Diamonds (LGDs). “India is a global leader in cutting and polishing of natural diamonds, contributing about three-fourths of the global turnover by value. With the depletion in deposits of natural diamonds, the industry is moving towards Lab Grown Diamonds and it holds huge promise. To seize this opportunity, I propose to reduce basic customs duty on seeds used in their manufacture,” Sitharaman said in her speech.
The tax levied on inputs to produce shrimp feed has also been reduced by the government to promote exports.
While denatured ethyl alcohol used in the chemical industry has been exempted from tax, the basic customs duty for acid grade fluorspar has been cut down from 5 per cent to 2.5 per cent and crude glycerin from 7.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent.
The raw materials for the manufacture of Cold Rolled Grain Oriented (CRGO) Steel, ferrous scrap and nickel cathode will continue to attract no tax.
The Centre will decrease the tax on heat coils from 20 per cent to 15 per cent.
What’s getting costlier?
Smokers will have to shell out more money as the government has proposed to increase the National Calamity Contingent Duty (NCCD) on specified cigarettes by 16 per cent.
The basic customs duty rate on compounded rubber will be ramped up from “10 per cent to ‘25 per cent or ‘30/kg whichever is lower’, at par with that on natural rubber other than latex, to curb circumvention of duty”, the finance minister stated.
Moreover, taxes on imported silver dore is raised to 14.35 per cent and silver imports to 15 per cent.
Import duty has been enhanced on silver bars, articles and dore. Reuters (Representational Image)
Electric kitchen chimneys are slated to get dearer as the basic customs duty is being raised from 7.5 per cent to 15 per cent.
The 2.5 per cent customs duty on copper scrap is “being continued to ensure the availability of raw materials for secondary copper producers who are mainly in the MSME (Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) sector”, the finance minister said in her Budget speech.
Major highlights of Union Budget 2023-24
Besides expanding the income tax rebate limit, the government has also eased tax slabs and enhanced the tax exemption limit to Rs 3 lakh under the new regime.
The fiscal deficit for 2023-24 has been projected at 5.9 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), Sitharaman said.
The government has allocated Rs 2.40 lakh for Indian Railways, which the finance minister said was “the highest-ever outlay, nine times the outlay made in 2013-14”.
The outlay for PM Awas Yojana has also been increased by 66 per cent to over Rs 79,000 crores.
The Centre has raised capital investment outlay by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore, which will comprise of 3.3 per cent of the GDP.
An outlay of Rs 35,000 crore to meet energy transition and net zero goals has also been provided in the Union Budget.