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ICEA urges Govt to cut import duty on mobile phones, says import no threat any more

New Delhi: India’s apex electronics makers body has urged the government to reduce the 20% basic customs duty on mobile phones, because of large scale manufacturing of handsets in India, imports are no longer a threat and the industry has the strength to face competition.

“We are suggesting that import duty should be capped on either 20% or Rs 4000 of the bill value of a device, whichever is higher. This is because in high-end phones, import duty is creating a large arbitrage and promoting the grey market of these devices,” a senior industry executive told ET.

He added that the proposal of reduction of GST on mobiles from 18% to the earlier 12% is a must to curb the emerging grey market and put the mobile within the reach of the common man.

In a presentation to the revenue department on Budget 2021, the India Cellular & Electronics Association (ICEA) also suggested the extension of the PLI (Production Linked Incentive) to laptops, tablets, PCBAs, Display FAB and wearables.

The Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP) scheme which is set to replace the existing sops for exports should be allowed for PLI companies as well, ICEA said.

The body also called on the government to revisit the phased manufacturing plan which is based on duty protection for component assembly and “must be revamped to balance protection with incentives, calibration must substitute blind protection.”

The industry also sought to raise the budget allocation to promote Centres of Excellence (CoE), R&D and focused incentives aimed at promoting strategic segments of the industry.

ICEA is aiming to achieve zero imports of mobile phones by next year and become the single largest exporter by 2025 and generate close to 2 crore jobs.

Source : Times of India

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