India is at last unlocking the shackles on its highly skilled high-tech industries – in the budget presented yesterday by finance minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, excise duty on raw materials for electronics is cut to 10% from 15% while the duty on components would come down to 20% from 25% – still much too high. To boost the television and computer sector the minister proposes reducing the excise duty on cathode ray tubes to 30% from 40% while duty on computers is halved to 20%. Duty on telecommunications parts would be reduced to 30% from 35% and on finished telecommunications equipment to 40% compared with 50%.
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