Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday increased the customs duty on mobile phones in the Budget for 2018-’19. The duty on mobile phones was raised from 15% to 20%, and on specified parts and accessories of these devices from 7.5-10% to 15%, PTI reported.
Jaitley said he had raised the customs duty on cellphones “consciously” as it would protect the domestic sector and aid the Make in India programme. The finance minister said there was “substantial potential” for domestic value addition in sectors like food processing, electronics, auto components and footwear. He said the move will help in job creation.
The government also raised the customs duty on smart watches and wearables.
Indian Cellular Association National President Pankaj Mohindroo told PTI that the move to raise customs duty would be the “last nail in the coffin” for mobile phone imports. However, he added that the move would have no effect on cellphone prices.
“There will be no increase in mobile phone prices since 81% of the volume and 84.5% of the value is manufactured in India, and will cross 90% on both terms in 2018,” Mahindroo said.