Footwear industry says duty cut to help competitiveness
The Budget proposal to reduce the excise duty on footwear with leather uppers and having retail price of over Rs 1,000 has been welcomed by the industry, saying the move will help increase competitiveness. "The footwear industry is particularly bullish as for shoes having MRP of above Rs 1,000 per pair will now attract half the excise duty by halving the duty from 12 to 6 percent," Liberty Footwear Chief Executive Adesh Gupta said. The move will provide boost to the domestic leather footwear industry and help it compete globally, he said adding, "It would also help provide a level-playing field for the organised sector and would result in integration of unorganised sector into organised sector". Reacting to the announcement, Woodland, Managing Director, Harkirat Singh said: "We were expecting total removal of excise duty the budget has only halved it but will be beneficial to leather manufacturers and many other brands in the footwear industry". Echoing similar sentiments, EY, Tax Partner, Bipin Sapra said, "The decrease in price of footwear is a welcome move amidst the increase in cost of living of a middle class household on account of increase in service tax and excise rates." The Finance Minister has also announced implementation of GST from April 2016. Welcoming this move, Singh said, "The announcement by the FM to introduce GST from April 2016 will definitely rejuvenate the retail industry. This initiative would play an important role by increasing buoyancy and reducing the cascading effect of tax. GST would play a transformative role and bring about revolution in the economy."