Budget reduces duties on life saving drugs

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New Delhi, July 6 (ANI): The basic customs duty on influenza vaccine and nine specified life saving drugs used for the treatment of breast cancer, hepatitis-B and rheumatic arthiritis, on the bulk drugs used for the manufacture of such drugs, has been reduced from 10 per cent to 5 per cent.

Announcing this while presenting the General Budget in Lok Sabha on Monday, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that they would also be totally exempt from excise duty and countervailing duty.

"The customs duty will also be reduced from 7.5 per cent to five per cent on two specified life-saving devises used in treatment of heart conditions. These devises will be fully exempt from excise duty and CVD also."

Mukherjee has also announced the reduction of excise duty applicable to large cars / utility vehicles of engine capacity of 2000 cc and above from Rs.20,000 per vehicle to Rs.15,000 per vehicle.

"The excise duty on petrol driven trucks/lorries has been reduced from 20 per cent to 8 per cent, while on chassis of such trucks/lorries, the reduction is from '20 per cent + Rs.10000' to '8 per cent + Rs.10000'," he said.

He has further reduced the excise duty on Special Boiling Point spirits to 14 per cent and on naptha to 14 per cent. Duty paid high-speed diesel blended with up to 20 per cent bio-diesel has also been fully exempted from excise duties.

"The excise duty exemption on 'recorded smart cards' and 'recorded proximity cards and tags' has been made optional. The manufacturers will have the option to pay the applicable excise duty and avail the credit of duty paid on inputs," he added.

The Minister while presenting the budget has extended the benefit of SSI exemption scheme to printed laminated rolls bearing the brand name of others by excluding this item from the purview of the brand name restriction.

"On packaged or canned software, the excise duty exemption has been provided on the portion of the value, which represents the consideration for transfer of the right to use such software, subject to specified conditions," he said.

The Minister said that the excise duty on branded articles of jewellery has also been reduced from two per cent to NIL.

While announcing the indirect taxes in the General Budget, he reduced the basic customs duty on LCD panels from 10 per cent to 5 per cent to support the indigenous production of LCD televisions. This will be particularly beneficial in creating employment especially in the SME sector. (ANI)

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