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Union Budget 2013: Pay more for mobile phones

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BANGALORE, INDIA: India has seen good mobile penetration in the past few years. 

According to recent reports, India is purported to overtake China to become the world's largest mobile telecommunications market by 2013 and the total mobile subscriber base would be a colossal 1.159 billion.  There are over 100 handset manufactures in India.

Finance minister P Chidambaram today levied 1-6 pc duty on phones worth more than Rs 2000. It means that the handset cost will go up.

This hasn't gone down too well for the telecom sector. ""The proposed rise in import duty on mobile handsets above Rs 2,000, from 1% to 6% will result in smartphone and feature-phone retail prices going up, as a result of which we will see some dampening in consumer sales. In turn this will impact negatively the uptake of data services in India and in all likelihood slow it down, just at a time when it has begun to gain momentum," said Mohammad Chowdhury, Leader Telecom, PwC India.

Budget 2013 is the roadmap to revive country's growth and P Chidambaram in clear terms stated that cutting expenditure is not the sole answer for fiscal consolidation. "Whenever and wherever necessary, revenues need to be augmented," he said.

As expected, luxury imported items will cost more. The finance minister has also levied a surcharge of 5-10 pc on domestic companies whose income exceeds Rs 10 crore.

 

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