Our power plants face a shortage of coal on account of
growing demand and better utilisation of installed capacity. I
propose to reduce the rate of duty on non-coking coal from 35% to
20%. I also propose reduction of duty on coke from the existing
level of 25% to 20%.
Our plastics industry is coming of age. I propose a
reduction of duty on plastics from 40% to 30%. Further, on
articles of plastics I propose a reduction from the existing
level of 50% to 40%.
In regard to rates of duties on drugs and
pharmaceuticals, I propose to retain the zero rate of duty on
life saving drugs. I also propose to reduce the rate of duty on
all other allopathic medicines from 50% to 40%. In order to make
available veterinary drugs commonly used I propose to reduce the
rate on specified veterinary drugs from 15% to 10%.
There has been a persistent complaint from industry that
customs duty on metals is very high and this makes it difficult
for downstream industry, especially capital goods, to be
competitive. Industry has been demanding that the rate of duty on
metals should be brought down drastically. However, realising the
need to provide adequate time to our metals industry to adjust
itself to global competition, I propose a modest reduction
from 35% or 40% at present to a peak rate of 30% on all metals
except nickel and aluminium. On unwrought aluminium and unwrought
nickel I propose to retain the current level of 10% and 20%
respectively. On wrought aluminium I propose to reduce the duty
from 25% to 20% and on wrought nickel from 30% to 20%.
While I do not wish to tamper with the rate of duty on
machinery which stands at 25%, I propose a reduction of duty on
signaling and safety equipment for railways, airports, sea ports
etc. from the current level of 50% to 25%.
The last three years have witnessed a tremendous growth
in our electronic industry which has been the result of
enterprise as well as the stimulation provided by sharp reduction
in customs duties. In order to maintain this trend, I propose
the following changes:
On raw materials, from the existing 15% to 10%
On components, from 25% to 20%.
On glass shells for colour TVs, from 30% to 25%.
On colour picture tubes, from 40% to 30%.
On computers and computer peripherals, from 40% to 20%.
Finished goods will continue to attract 50% rate of
With a view to encourage sports in the country, I also
propose to reduce import duty on sports goods from 50% to 30%.
In order to give relief to professional press
photographers I propose to allow them to import free of duty
photographic equipment upto Rs.1 lakh. A similar concession is
also being extended to accredited journalists for import of
personal computer, typewriter and fax machine.
Telecommunication is a growing sector and will turn out
to be the life-line of our economy. The existence of an
efficient telecommunication net work is a pre-requisite for
accelerated economic growth. In order to give a boost to the
efforts being made by the Department of Telecommunications, I
propose that the duty on parts and sub-assemblies of
telecommunication equipment be reduced from 35% to 30% and on
finished equipment from 50% to 40%. In order to avoid the
temptation to smuggle cellular phones, pagers and trunking
handsets, I propose to reduce the customs duty on them to 30%.
Upgradation of medical standards in the country is
extremely important. I, therefore, propose to reduce the rate of
duty on specified equipment, not generally made in India, and
their parts from 15% to 10% and on other medical equipment from
40% to 30%.
Edible oils now carry a rate of duty of 30%. This is an
important item of daily food for the masses and we have a
chronic shortage of edible oils in the country. I propose to
reduce the import duty on edible oils from 30% to 20%.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, earlier in my speech I dwelt on the
dire need to step up investment in infrastructure. I had also
detailed the sectors to which I propose to make large
allocations. I have to raise resources to meet these
requirements. I intend to ask importers to share the burden of
building the infrastructure in this country because, ultimately,
it will help raise production and enhance competitiveness. I,
therefore, propose a levy of 2% as special customs duty on all
imports except those that carry nil rate of duty or are imported
at nil rate of customs duty for export production under the
various duty free licences. This levy will not apply to gold and
silver imported by eligible passengers or under special import
licences. This is likely to yield about Rs.1600 crore in the