New Delhi, Feb 28 (IANS) Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who quit smoking pipe several years ago, has spared the tobacco industry — a prime source of raising revenue for the exchequer — by not raising excise duty on cigarettes in the budget proposals for 2011-12.
This is the first time in many budgets that excise duty on cigarettes has not been hiked.
The cheer in the industry was evident Monday, with ITC, the largest manufacturer of cigarettes in the country, seeing its shares soaring 8.33 percent to an intra-day high of Rs.170 at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
Over 41 lakh shares of the company were traded on the BSE, as compared to a two-week average of 5.5 lakh shares.
Items like cigarettes and cigars attract a basic excise duty of 10 percent and an additional excise duty of 1.6 percent.