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India reduces pet food customs duty:

India has reduced the customs duty on pet foods from 30% to 20%, terming the reduction as "good news for cat and dog lovers". This is part of budget proposals put forward by finance minister P Chidambaram for 2007-08. However, the announcement drew some flak from the "opposition hounds", according to some media reports. The Indian companion animal segment has emerged as one of the fastest-growing segments in the industry, registering growth of 19% per year. Elsewhere, Mr Chidambaram has restricted the tax exemption on the income of a venture capital company or fund involved in nanotechnology, biotechnology, the dairy industry, the poultry industry, R&D of new chemical entities in the pharmaceutical sectors and some other specific areas. "Since such funds enjoy a pass-through status, it is necessary to limit the tax benefit to investments made in truly deserving sectors," said Mr Chidambaram. This amendment is effective from April 1st, 2008.


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