Smokers will have to shell out more for the puff as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today proposed a steep hike in duty on cigarettes, and also made pan masala, gutkha, chewing tobacco and aerated drinks containing sugar costlier.
On the other hand, traditional colour television and new LED/LCD TVs -- specially those below 19 inches, personal computers, e-book readers, low cost foot-wears, LED lights, water purifiers using reverse osmosis technology are some of the items that are set to become cheaper due to reduction in different taxes and duties.
While presenting the Budget for 2014-15, Jaitley proposed to increase the specific excise duty on cigarettes in the range of 11 per cent to 72 per cent.
Excise duty has been increased by 72 per cent on cigarettes of length not exceeding 65 mm and by 11 per cent to 21 per cent for cigarettes of other lengths.
Similar increases has also been proposed on cigars, cheroots and cigarillos.
Likewise, excise duty on pan masala has been increased to 16 per cent from 12 per cent, unmanufactured tobacco to 55 per cent from 50 per cent; gutkha and chewing tobacco to 70 per cent from 60 per cent to on.
The Finance Minister also proposed to levy an additional duty of excise at 5 per cent on aerated waters containing added sugar.
"These are healthy measures and I hope everyone would welcome them from the point of view of human and fiscal health," Jaitley said.
As the government has already extended excise duty concessions beyond June 30, 2014, for a period of 6 months up to December 31, 2014 given to capital goods, consumer durables and automobile sectors, prices of these item will remain unchanged.
Jaitley, however, made it easier for consumers in the lower end of the spectrum who still watch traditional TVs by exempting colour picture tubes from basic customs duty.
"Cathode ray TVs are used by weaker sections who cannot afford to buy more expensive flat panel TVs ... The duty concession will help revive manufacturing of TVs in the SME sector and create employment opportunities," Jaitley said.
The minister further said: "At the same time, to encourage production of LCD and LED TVs below 19 inches in India, I propose to reduce the basic customs duty on