The Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, has hiked customs duty on certain furniture accessories to protect the domestic industry. Customs duty on seats and parts of seats [except aircraft seats and parts thereof] and other furniture and parts has been increased from 10% to 20%. Budget 2018 being the first budget after the introduction of GST, changes were made only relating to Customs duties as other indirect taxes are covered under GST.
The Finance Minister in his budget speech said “In this budget, I am making a calibrated departure from the underlying policy in the last two decades, wherein the trend largely was to reduce the customs duty. There is substantial potential for domestic value addition in certain sectors, like food processing, electronics, auto components, footwear and furniture”. While increasing the customs duty, the Finance Minster’s focus was on those sectors which have high employment generation potential.
Interestingly, the Finance Minister has also hiked customs duty on Mattresses supports; articles of bedding and similar furnishing from 10% to 20%. Many international mattress manufacturing companies are planning to enter Indian market and some have have already entered the Indian market. The government is encouraging them to set up their manufacturing facilities in India by making import of bedding items costlier.
The government has also hiked the customs duty on Lamps and lighting fitting, illuminated signs, illuminated name plates and the like [except solar lanterns or solar lamps] from 10% to 20%.