Cheaper Data Cards- Budget 2008 - Cool New Gadgets and Gizmos Blog
Data cardThe FM's budget speech has just concluded though as of the time of posting this article the speech has not yet been made available at

Mr. Chidambaram mentioned "Wireless Data Cards" in the list of products on which Excise Duty has been slashed from 16% to nil. That's great news considering all the telecom operators who offer such products import them from the likes of Huawei, Sierra Wireless etc. The catch though is that we hope the term "Wireless Data Cards" includes the new USB dongles as well since data "cards" as such have become defunct as laptop makers have phased out the PCIMCIA slot into which these cards were inserted.

Assuming that the entire duty cut benefit is passed on to consumers, a USB data dongle which typically costs around Rs. 3,000 will be cheaper by nearly Rs. 500. We contacted the major telecom players and we'll update you with their reactions on this matter.

UPDATE 1: The budget speech is now available Here is the relevant part:

146. There are a number of products which are goods of mass consumption. There is also the need to have tax parity on similar goods. Taking into account requests from a number of industries, I propose to reduce the excise duty from 16 per cent to nil on a few items including composting machines, wireless data cards, packaged coconut water, tea and coffee mixes, and puffed rice.

UPDATE 2: EXCLUSIVE: Spokespersons for both Airtel and Tata Indicom have confirmed that they will pass on the ENTIRE benefit to consumers.

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