Budget 2013: Cellphones To Get More Expensive

If you plan to get a brand new mobile phone that is worth more than Rs. 2000 in the months to come, make sure you get one real quick. Why?  Because in the just announced Union Budget, our finance minister, Mr. P. Chidambaram has decided to increase the duty imposed on mobile phones that cost more than Rs. 2000 (that’s almost all mobile phones), from 1 percent to 6 percent.

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What this means according to the mathematicians at NDTV is that a phone that cost Rs. 10,000 earlier will now cost Rs. 10,495 and a more expensive 30k device will be Rs. 1485 dearer at Rs. 31,485. If you were a mid-range junkie, a phone that cost Rs. 20,000 will now cost Rs. 20,990.  This means all those new flagship devices that are set to land in India in the next few months would be dearer by some margin.

NDTV however adds that the government has increased the duty free allowance for individuals returning from foreign trips. This means, you can buy a mobile phone for cheaper from somewhere abroad and get it to India for much lesser. Men would be allowed to carry stuff worth Rs 50,000 without attracting the ire of Customs officials – while women would get the privilege to carry goods worth twice that amount. That’s Rs. 100,000 in case you are really poor at math like me.

Anyway, what do you think about this move from the government? Was this hike in duty really necessary?

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