Broadband India urges govt to withdraw import duty rollback

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Boradband India Forum (BIF) which has been quite vocal about the negative impact of duty roolback on components of mobile phones has now urged the Ministry of Communication and IT to widhdraw import duty roolback. The forum has argued that this step by the government is a deterrent for local manufacturing and it acts opposite to central government ‘Make in India’ initiative.

The central government has recently decided to roll back import duties levied on components of mobile phones in the Union Budget 2016. The decision reduced the duty on chargers, batteries and headsets from 29 per cent to 12.5 per cent (at par with that of imported handsets) and lowered the duty on populated PCBs (printed circuit boards) to zero per cent from 2 per cent (instead of raising it to 12.5 per cent).

The forum claims that by lowering duty on populated PCBs, the government is not aligned with its vision to ‘Design in India.’ If the government wants companies to design PCBs in India they need to withdraw the rollback as otherwise no companies will be interested to design PCBs in India since all of them will be imported from China at zero per cent duty. Therefore, increasing duty on populated PCBs is the next logical step, BIF added.

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By Atanu Kumar Das

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