Now Don't be Dutiful, Carry More Baggage

Indians returning home from foreign shores can now pass through the green channel at airports with bigger bags without customs officials looking at them suspiciously. The finance minister has increased the duty-free allowance for Indian-origin travellers from Rs 25,000 to Rs 35,000,while their children can carry goods worth Rs 15,000,instead of Rs 12,000 earlier, without paying any duty. This hike in baggage allowance comes after eight years and brings cheer to both the traveller and airport developers, who are giving the new Indian airport much bigger duty-free shopping areas. Our airports are matching global standards in terms of duty-free shops and this is an important revenue stream for us. As prices at Indian duty-free shops are competitive, in fact lower those at European airports, the enhanced allowance will encourage people to buy more here, Airports Authority of India chairman V P Agrawal said. The enhanced limit comes when the rupee has been sliding against the dollar and the value of goods purchased by travellers in foreign currencies is increasing in rupee terms. So now, they can shop till they drop without the fear of customs officials waiting back home.


Times of India, New Delhi, 17-03-2012



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