Consumer durables makers want excise, customs duties cut

Consumer durables makers want the government to cut both excise duty on finished goods and customs duty on imported components, which, they claim, will boost the 'Make in India' campaign.

In a pre-budget memorandum submitted to the finance minister, the Consumer Electronic and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA) has sought reduction in excise duty on consumer durables in the forthcoming Budget to help the sector combat demand slowdown..

According to CEAMA, the recent rollback of excise duty concessions has pushed up product prices and affected sales.

Also, they want the Budget to abolish or at least reduce customs duty on imports of components used in making refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners and microwaves.

This, they claim, will boost the government's `Make in India' campaign.

A cut in customs duty together with a similar reduction in excise duty on locally assembled  products will reduce the overall cost of manufacturing in the country so that these products will be able to compete with imported goods, CEAMA points out.

They say, a price reduction resulting from duty concessions would stimulate demand, which at present is stifled.

CEAMA also sought speedy implementation of the general sales tax that would help create a single, unified Indian market by doing away with the multiple layers of indirect taxation that prevails at present.

The UPA government, in its interim Budget presented last February, had cut excise duty on consumer durables and automobiles in order to boost the two sectors that were struggling due to the economic downturn.

In June last year, the new government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended the excise duty concessions by six months to 31 December 2014. But that concession stands cancelled since then.

In January, consumer durable makers, including Haier, Whirlpool, Panasonic, Godrej Appliances and Daikin, had increased product prices by up to 5 per cent, following the withdrawal of excise duty sops, and a rise in input costs.