The Indian Cellular Association (ICA) in its pre-budget recommendations asked the government to provide Rs 4000 crore for making mobile phones reach those living below poverty line. It said such funds can be utilised from the USOF.
It said hat mobile charging facilities will have to be provided in all villages which face power shortage.
The handset lobby also called for removal of the National Calamity Contingent Duty which was imposed on 2008-09 on imports of mobile phones. “Taxing a device which fights and prevents calamities is a contradiction in itself. Instead of taxing it, we should promote the mobile phone for its role in coping with disasters. NCCD is an irksome levy and comes in the way of making India a global hub,” said ICA.
ICA asked the government to extend the zero basic duty of customs to be extended to key accessories such as batteries, chargers and hands-free kits which will result in making India a full-fledged manufacturing hub.
“Inputs for manufacturers of parts, components and accessories of mobile phones may be at zero customs and zero excise. This will push up production of part and components in the country,” ICA said.
It has also recommended that mobile handsets should be declared as goods of national importance under Section 14 of Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, and thereby, VAT should be brought down to zero under uniform ITA-based classification systems.
ICA said that depreciation rate for mobile phone industry be raised to 45 percent at reduced value. “Based on this, the equipment value will come down to practically zero in a period of three years. “The accelerated depreciation will increase the investment in capital expenditure, which is a must for the industry,” ICA said.