With just two days to go for presentation of Union Budget 2003-2004, the telecom handset industry is hoping that basic customs duty on mobile phones would be halved to five per cent, and has sought abolition of special additional duty (SAD) of four per cent.
In its budget-wish list to the Government, the Indian Cellular Association (ICA), which is a body of handset manfacturers and national handset distributors, has sought a reduction in existing levies on the mobile handsets, saying the move would result in increasing the share of legal mobile handset market.
In the last budget, Government had abolished Counterveiling Duty (CVD) of 16 per cent on mobile handsets, though the basic customs duty had been increased to 10 per cent. Following this, major handset players had announced reduction in prices.
This time, ICA has also sought removal of mobile handsets from 1/6 Income-Tax eligibility criteria.
It has also demanded removal of the revenue sharing clause for telecom operators on sale of handsets alongwith packaged airtime, saying such a move would allow operators to buy handsets and subsidise their sale with airtime to customers, thus substantially decreasing entry cost for common man. More