Government also exempted import of parts, sub-parts, inputs or raw material for use in manufacture of lithium-ion cell from customs duty.
New Delhi: The government on Wednesday imposed basic customs duty on lithium-ion cell and printed circuit board (PCB) assembly used in cellphone battery packs in line with its policy to boost local manufacturing.
Lithium-ion cell and PCB assembly will face 5% and 10% customs duty, respectively. The government, however, exempted import of parts, sub-parts and raw material used in making lithium-ion cells from the customs duty. There is, however, no change in the basic customs duty on import of lithium-ion battery for cellular mobile phones, which remains taxable at 15%.
A notification to this effect has been issued by the Central Board of Indirect taxes and Customs.
The government had raised customs duty on several telecom equipment in October and imposed duties on PCBs to curb non-essential imports to address its current account deficit as well as encourage the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Basic customs duties were raised to 20% from 10% on telecom products, including base stations, optical transport equipment, combination of one or more of packet optical transport product or switch (POTP or POTS), optical transport network products and IP radios. A host of telecom products that enjoyed zero duty were slapped with a 10% duty.
As part of its Make in India plan, customs duty was slapped on smartphones in July 2017 and it was subsequently raised in the 2018-19 budget. Customs duties were also raised for automobile parts, LED/LCD and OLED panels, fruit juices, smart watches and sunglasses.
“The changes in customs rate is clearly a step towards the Make in India initiative by the government for mobile phones or electronic goods and aligning the duty rates with the Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP) of the ministry of electronics and information technology,” said Pratik Jain, partner and leader — indirect tax at PwC India. He, however, said it remains to be seen if these changes would incentivise local manufacturing of mobile phones and their parts and components.
The government has issued notifications providing effect to the amendments made last year in the GST Act. It has set February 1 as the date on which the provisions of the Central GST (Amendment) Act, 2018 and the Integrated GST (Amendment) Act, 2018 will become effective.
Any registered person who has applied for cancellation of GST registrations, now need not file GST returns till the cancellation is complete. Relevant provisions have been amended to provide linkage of multiple invoices against a single credit or debit note.
In case of refund on account of supplies to a special economic zone unit or developer, the format of declaration has been amended. Earlier, the declaration was required to the effect that SEZ has not availed of credit of tax charged by the supplier. This has now been changed to the effect that tax has not been collected from the SEZ unit or developer by the supplier.