India's decision last month to impose import duty on flat television panels, one of the measures the government adopted to arrest the steep fall of Indian rupee to the US dollar, has led to a sharp decline in the number of Indians in Qatar carrying TV sets home, according to a report.
As India has been discouraging people from importing goods, especially gold and TV sets, to control capital outflows, this has had a bearing on the businesses of local suppliers in faraway Qatar, the Peninsula said.
"We have noticed a steep fall in the number of Indians travelling home with flat screen TVs, due to the recent customs levy on TV imports," Country Manager-Qatar, Jet Airways, Anil Srinivasan, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
According to Srinivasan, the number has declined by 75 per cent after India placed a ban on their duty-free imports.
A similar trend has been reported from the UAE in recent weeks. It was reported last month that the Indian government's decision to impose customs duty on flat television panels was likely to have an impact in the UAE with the electronics retailers bracing for a 20 per cent decline in sales.
According to official estimates, more than one million television sets were imported to India last year, with UAE, Thailand, Singapore, Qatar and other Gulf states as the primary source destinations.
"Sales have gone down by 20 to 25 per cent. Some, who bought the products earlier, even came to return them after learning about the recently announced 35 per cent custom duties," Shaijan M O, LuLu Regional Manager-Qatar, said.