New Delhi, Feb 6 - The hike in customs duty in nearly 45 items of mass consumption in Budget 2018-19 is meant to push 'Make in India' and is neither protectionist nor inflationary, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Chairperson Vanaja Sarna said on February 6.
Addressing a post-Budget interactive session organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here, she said: "This move is not at all inflationary and it singularly aims at promoting 'Make in India' in items of huge mass needs."
Sarna added that recent changes and modifications made into Indian Customs Act would promote trade facilitation.
"Similarly, several other measures have been inducted in the Budget proposals for the next fiscal so that the flow of trade and services is expanded rather than restricted," she said.
Central Board of Direct Taxes Chairman Sushil Chandra said the government tax data revealed that salaried class was much more forthcoming and pro-active on payment of personal taxes than business community, and deserved "a better deal".
He said the latter contributed a personal tax amounting to Rs 44,000 crore as against Rs 1,48,000 crore of personal taxation by the salaried class.
Disagreeing with the criticism that the current Budget ignored middle class, Chandra said that raising standard exemption to Rs 40,000 per individual will mean a total relief of Rs 8,000 crore.