Mobile phones, air coolers, ups/ips to cost more

Finance Minister AMA Muhith, in the national budget for FY 2017-18, has proposed changes to duties on different essential commodities which may result in increase and decrease in their prices.

While placing the budget in Parliament on Thursday, the Finance Minister said they prepared customs-related proposals considering different aspects, including current socio-economic scenario, protection of domestic industries, increased industrial investment and revenue collection.

Prices to go up: Bidi, cigarette, foreign mobile phone, UPS/IPS, evaporative air coolers, textbooks for primary and secondary education, wheat and maize starch, talcum powder, ECG and ultrasonogram recording paper, children’s picture, drawing or colouring books.

Prices to go down: LP gas cylinder (capacity below 5000 litres), battery, solar panel (photovoltaic cell), hybrid vehicle, WiFi/Wimax lan card, locally assembled or manufactured cellular phone, laptop, pad and tablet computers, petroleum jelly, poultry and dairy food, locally made motorcycle, videoconference device, LED lamps and bulbs, spare parts of diesel engine, ball bearings, machinery parts, gear boxes, brakes and servo brakes, and fire resistant door.

According to the proposals placed by the Finance Minister, customs duties have been reduced for some essential commodities, including capital machinery for leather industries, raw materials for medicine and ceramic industries, battery, solar panel (photovoltaic cell), hybrid vehicle, LP gas cylinder capacity below 5000 liters and cellular phone, laptop and pad (locally assembled and manufactured).

At the same time, he also proposed cutting some taxes on importing different equipment for boosting assembling mobile handsets, laptops and tablet computers in the country.

But the customs duties have been increased for some goods, including cocoa powder, poultry feeds, foreign mobile set, memory card, tubes, pipes and fittings, vacuum cleaner and fishing net for finishing trawler.

Foreign mobile handsets will be costlier as import duty has been proposed to 10 percent from existing 5 percent.

The Finance Minister placed a Tk 400,266-crore national budget for the upcoming fiscal year that will begin on July 1 next.