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February 28, 2001                                       Feedback  

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Cigarettes, tea, coffee to be dearer;
gold, cement, soft drinks cheaper

Cigarette, pan masala and the common man's beverages - tea and coffee - will now cost more while soft drinks and gold will be cheaper thanks to the new tax proposals announced by Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha in the Budget on Wednesday.

Sinha announced wide-ranging changes in the existing duty rates to fulfill the twin objective of simplifying the tax procedure and increasing revenue both in direct and indirect taxes, including customs and excise.

Guided by the pressures of Gujarat earthquake and his concern for the health of the economy, Sinha came heavily on tobacco and tobacco-products and levied a 15% surcharge to support the National Calamity Contingency Fund.

Although the finance minister increased the excise duty on motor spirit and high speed diesel oil to 16%, Sinha pointed out that the burden of the duty hike would not be passed on to the consumers.

The custom duty on tea, coffee, copra and coconut has been raised from 35 to 70%, while in the refined oil the custom duty has been hiked up to 85% across the board except for soya bean oil at 45%.

To allay the fears of surge in imports of second hand cars in the country after abolition of quantitative restrictions in April this year, the government raised the basic import duty to 105% taking the total duty to over 180%.

Budget 2001

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