Call this the rupee tumble effect. Air travellers will now have to fork out customs duty on flat panel television sets when they land in India from abroad.

At present, the Government allows airline passengers to import televisions valued up to Rs 35,000 free of any duty (under baggage allowance rules).

The new duty regime will come into effect from August 26, according to an executive order laid on the table of the Rajya Sabha by Jesudasu Seelam, Minister of State for Revenue, on Monday.

The revenue implication of this move is not quantifiable, the revenue department has said.

The latest move to ban duty-free imports of flat panel television sets under free baggage allowance is seen as another measure to prop up the rupee.

This ban is expected to stem the flow of foreign exchange out of the country for purchase of such television sets.

Most of flat panel television sets currently find their way into India from markets such as Thailand, Dubai and Singapore.

It is estimated that more than a million such TV sets are imported into India every year .

This is mainly on account of the manufacturing competitiveness abroad and cheaper landed cost on account of the duty-free regime under baggage allowance.

(This article was published on August 19, 2013)
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