The consumer durables industry has wished for lower indirect taxes and cut in customs duty on inputs in the forthcoming budget, as it seeks to safeguard its profitability against any increase in cheaper imports of finished goods.
The industry has called for reduction in value-added tax (VAT), abolition of central sales tax and cut in excise duty.
"In 2007, all categories recorded a double digit growth.
This year, we expect reduction in VAT and incentives to bring the sector at par with the IT industry. Even reduction in import and excise duty will help in fetching better margins and provide products to the consumers at a cheaper rate," Haier India Director Pranay Dhabai said.
The industry has asked the government that non-IT products like consumer electronics and entertainment should be treated at par with the IT industry regarding indirect taxes.
Industry players have sought incentives for the electronic hardware sector, which is expected to reach the size of Rs 7,000 billion dollars by 2015 and contribute two per cent of the total GDP by then.
"The difference between IT and non-IT products is getting blurred, as one can view the TV programmes on personal computer and mobile phone. Therefore, it is requested that IT and non-IT products be treated at par with regards to indirect taxes," Mirc Electronics Chairman and Managing Director G L Mirchandani said.
Echoing similar sentiments Godrej Appliances Vice-President (Sales and Marketing) Kamal Nandi said: "The industry is asking for a two per cent cut in excise duty in this budget".
Concerned over the impact of India's trade pacts with countries like Thailand and Singapore, the industry has also strongly voted for a duty cut on inputs.