As part of the stimulus package, the government on Friday notified the changes in customs and additional customs duty rates as also the rates for duty drawback.
According to an official statement here, the exemption from additional customs duty and the special additional customs duty (at four per cent) on imported cement stands withdrawn. Consequently, imported cement will attract countervailing duty equal to applicable excise duty and also special additional duty of customs at four per cent, it said.
Similarly, customs duty on zinc was fully exempted with effect from April 29, 2008. Since the exemption was withdrawn, the customs duty rate was restored to the earlier rate of five per cent.
On ferro-alloys, customs duty was also fully exempted from April 29. Subsequently, from October 31, 2008, customs duty on certain ferro-alloys, namely, ferro-molybdenum and ferro-vanadium was restored to the earlier rate of five per cent. Now, the exemption provided on all other ferro-alloys has also been withdrawn and the customs duty rate on all ferro-alloys has been restored to five per cent, the statement said.
On TMT (thermo-mechanically treated) bars and structurals, additional customs duty was fully exempted. With the withdrawal of this exemption, imported TMT bars and structurals will attract the levy at 10 per cent. These changes, the statement said, are intended to provide a level playing field to the domestic industry and come into force with immediate effect. As for the changes in duty drawback, the rates stand enhanced in respect of the following items: On cotton knitted fabrics from 4.5 per cent to five per cent; on man-made knitted fabrics from 8.7 per cent to 8.9 per cent; on woollen knitted fabrics from 5.7 per cent to 5.8 per cent; and on agricultural/horticultural/forestry hand tools from 8.5 per cent to 10 per cent (with a cap of Rs7.50 per kg). Alongside, the value cap has also been enhanced for cotton yarn, grey from Rs. 8.00 per kg to Rs. 12.00 per kg; complete bicycles from Rs. 203 a piece to Rs. 240 a piece; and stainless steel cutlery and knives from Rs. 23.50 per kg and Rs. 19.80 per kg respectively to Rs. 28.00 per kg.
In the case of texturised/twisted yarn of polyester manufactured from partially oriented yarn, on which terminal excise duty has been paid, the drawback rates are being revised to include the Central excise portion. All the above changes in drawback are being implemented with effect from 1st September, 2008. Drawback will henceforth be also allowed on boots/half boots/shoes of leather cum synthetic/textile materials at 10.5% subject to a value cap of Rs. 110 per pair, the statement said.