Pro-AAP vlogger Dhruv Rathee yesterday posted a tweet criticising the ‘Indian Tax system’ by alleging that it would be cheaper to fly to Dubai to get Apple’s new premium flagship mobile phone, iPhone 12 Pro, than buying it from India.
Rathee listed down the cost of iPhone 12 Pro in India and Dubai, along with the alleged return flight ticket fare to Dubai, to allege that it is economical to travel to Dubai for buying the recently launched iPhone instead of purchasing it from India.
Rathee claimed that the iPhone 12 Pro priced at Rs 1,20,000 in India comes at Rs 84,000 in Dubai and the return ticket to Dubai costs around Rs 20,000. “It is now cheaper to fly to Dubai, buy an iPhone and come back to India. How ridiculous that the tax system encourages such situations,” Rathee proclaimed following his ‘cost analysis’.
While gullible AAP and Congress supporters would be the only ones to blindly buy into the superficial ‘analysis’ of price variation of iPhone 12 Pro peddled by Rathee, the rules and regulations governing Customs highlight the gaping holes in Rathee’s assertion that travelling to Dubai and getting an iPhone 12 Pro from there is significantly cheaper than buying it from India.
Customs rules on imports of ‘non-essential’ products worth more than Rs 50,000
As per Customs’ rules and regulations, imports of ‘non-essential’ products worth more than Rs 50,000 are not permitted to air travellers as baggage allowance. Instead, these luxury entertainment commodities attract a total levy of 36.05 per cent. Travellers have to make an oral declaration to the Customs authorities in the Disembarkation Card whether they are carrying dutiable goods or not.
The Green Channel or Walkthrough channel is meant for customers who have nothing to declare and are carrying dutiable goods within the prescribed free allowance. The passengers can simply walk through the Green Channel with their baggage on the basis of their Oral declaration/Declaration on their Disembarkation Card. On the other hand, the Red Channel is meant for passengers who have something to declare or are carrying goods in excess of the duty-free allowance.
Passengers who fail to declare products that are worth more than Rs 50,000 carried by them have to pay a duty of 36.05 percent, along with penalty of 20 per cent and fine of approximately 10 per cent over the cost of the product.
Several Twitter users highlighted how Dhruv Rathee was either unaware of the Customs rules and regulations or was encouraging tax theft by hiding information.
AAPtard forgot to account for custom duty of 28% on any new purchase worth more than 50k from abroad 🤣 Unless he is is encouraging tax theft by hiding the info. https://t.co/JkhVhHKJaQ— नम्रता (@_Namrataa) October 20, 2020
One of the Twitter users even pointed out how the cost of iPhone 12 Pro would significantly rise if a passenger who did not declare bringing in an iPhone 12 Pro from overseas and is caught with the mobile phone at the green channel.
I am assuming that the passenger would be denied his Free Allowance of Rs 50,000 after being caught at the green channel, and quite rightly so.— Dr Kiran Kumar Karlapu (@scarysouthpaw) October 20, 2020
The person found smuggling in an iPhone without declaring it to the customs officials will not only have to pay the Duty of 36.05 per cent over the cost of phone but he would also be liable to pay the penalty of approximately 20 per cent of the cost of the goods and fine of 10 per cent for not declaring it in the Disembarkation Card. This would take the price of iPhone 12 Pro to approximately Rs 1,40,000, a whopping Rs 20,000 higher than the price at which it is available in India.
Also, in his hurry to offer a solution to buy iPhones for cheap, Rathee seems to have operated on the premise that people can just hop on an aeroplane and fly to Dubai and come back, just for purchasing an iPhone. His ‘money-saving analysis’ does not add hotel, food, conveyance, and other expenses.
The serial fake-news peddler
There have been several incidents when the Pro-AAP blogger Dhruv Rathee has revealed himself to be a serial fake news peddler who, for some unknown reason, makes videos about everything under the sun. He had earlier shared videos hiding crucial details and facts about the Delhi riots. He had also done dubious ‘fact-checks’ which usually end up exposing himself further. Not just Rathee, but some dubious individuals hosted in his video blogs have been also found to be fake news peddlers.
In 2019, Rathee had claimed that PM Modi has ‘sold’ 1,70,000 acres of dense forest in Chhattisgarh to the Adani Group. After the Adani Group debunked his claim and stated that they would initiate legal proceedings if Rathee does not take down his “malicious and incorrect” claim, Rathee promptly deleted the Tweet.