Agri Cess Will Not Impact Alcoholic Beverages, Hike In Customs Duty Not To Impact Price Of Cars: Finance Secretary


New Delhi: Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC), a new cess announced in union budget 2020-21 will not lead to increase in the price of alcoholic beverages, Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey said on Wednesday.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, Pandey said that the customs duty increase on auto components will also “not have any impact on the prices of cars and bikes”.

“To promote infrastructure in the agriculture sector, this critical AIDC has been proposed in this budget. We have taken care that this cess is applicable on a minimum number of items. The total category of items would not be more than 15. While doing so, we have ensured that the burden on the consumer does not increase. In order to achieve this objective, the existing duties on these items have been reduced and it has been replaced by this cess,” he said.

In her budget presented on Monday, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced 100 per cent AIDC cess on alcoholic beverages.

The Finance Secretary said that AIDC has been proposed in a way that twin objectives are achieved.

“One is no burden on the consumer has been increased and, second, AIDC will lead to a dedicated fund for making the investments in the agriculture infrastructure to make the farm sector more productive. There will be no impact on prices of alcoholic beverages, petrol, diesel,” he said.

Pandey said the customs duty has been raised marginally on auto components.

“So this marginal increase is not going to impact or upset this industry’s plan. What it will do is that it will promote the domestic manufacturers of auto parts because we want that not only the car is manufactured here but auto parts as well. In order to promote the domestic manufacturing of auto parts, the customs duty on auto parts have been increased marginally so that there is a balance between the interests of the auto manufacturers and auto parts manufacturers.”

Sitharaman had said in the budget that a new customs duty structure will be in place by October this year.

“We are raising custom duty on certain auto parts to 15 per cent to bring them on par with a general rate of auto parts,” she had said. (ANI)