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Finance minister Jaswant Singh has scrapped the need to pay import duty on laptops brought in by passengers as part of their baggage.

The cumulative import duty on a laptop was, till date, nearly 33%. One can bring in a laptop at zero duty on return from a foreign trip. Countervailing duty has now been reduced to 8% from the earlier 16%.

Another cause for celebration is doubling of the quantity of booze you can bring along, duty-free, when you return from an overseas trip. The money saved is significant, since liquor attracts basic duty of 165% in addition to a huge CVD.

For those who are returning home after working abroad, bringing home appliances along is a cheaper preposition.

In such cases, there will be no duty on cooking ranges, washing machines, VCD/ VCRs, refrigerators up to 300 litres of capacity, laptops and PCs. The import duty on 17 other items, including aircraft and fax machine, has been halved to 15% from the earlier 30%. The other items on which duty has been reduced under the 'transfer of residence' category include gold and silver (exept ornaments), photocopiers, TVs, digital video players, home theatres, dish washers, music systems, ACs, deep freezers, refrigerators of more than 300 litre capacity, video cameras, vessels, word processing machines and cinematographic films of 35 mm and above.

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