Mobile phones to become cheaper as FM Sitharaman reduces import duties in Budget 2023


  • Government proposal to reduce customs duty on mobile phone inputs.
  • As of now, the new tax regime will be the default tax regime, according to Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance.

On Wednesday, February 1, Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2023 and announced major changes to certain duties and taxes. These changes resulted in some items becoming cheaper and others becoming more expensive. 

As a result of the reduction of import duties, FM Sitharaman said mobile phones would get cheaper. “I propose to reduce the number of basic custom duty rates on goods other than textiles and agriculture from 21 to 13. As a result, there are minor changes in the basic customs duties, cesses and surcharges on some items, including toys, bicycles, automobiles,” FM Sitharaman stated. “The Central government proposed to reduce customs duty on import of certain inputs for mobile phone manufacturing,” she further added. 

The mobile phone output has increased from 5.8 crore units in 2014-15 to 31 crore units last fiscal, and the customs duty on electric chimneys in the kitchen has increased from 7.5% to 15%. In her statement, she said 2.5% customs duty had been cut on parts of open cells in TV panels. 

Income Tax Rebate Increased

Meanwhile, there has been an increase in the income tax rebate limit from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh in the new regime. It will now be the default tax regime to use the new tax regime. Moreover, the FM reduced the number of tax slabs in the new tax regime. The capital investment outlay has been increased by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore, which represents 3.3% of GDP. State governments will be able to continue to borrow interest-free for another year. This is the highest allocation ever for Indian Railways, with Rs 2.40 lakh crore allocated.

The Union Budget 2023-24 also reflected the Modi government’s love for acronyms, with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announcing more in her speech. A prime example is PM PRANAM, which stands for PM Promotion of Alternate Nutrients for Agriculture Management Yojana. Through this program, states are encouraged to reduce the use of chemical fertilisers.