Government scraps import duty on open cell television panel

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Published: September 19, 2019 4:04:57 AM

The Korean electronics major had stopped making televisions in the country because of high costs, primarily due to the 5% import duty on open cell TV panel.

Government, import duty, cell television panel, industry news, TV production, India, Korean electronic,GST, GST rate, tvAccording to Counterpoint Research, Samsung and others are likely to scale up TV production in India. 

The government has scrapped the import duty on open cell TV panels, brightening the prospects of manufacturing or assembling within the country. Most industry players welcomed the decision as the move is likely to bring down the cost of making TV sets in India. According to industry sources, the production costs will come down by 3% after scrapping of the duty. Players like Panasonic India are looking to pass on the benefits to customers before the festive season. “Even though we have paid the duty of 5% for inventory used for assembling TVs, looking at long term, we are going to pass on the 2-3% benefit to customers during the festive season,” Panasonic India and South Asia president and CEO Manish Sharma told FE on Wednesday.

Sharma said the other good thing is that the government has now announced a phased manufacturing approach which will help the industry chalk out its future plans.

According to Counterpoint Research, Samsung and others are likely to scale up TV production in India. The Korean electronics major had stopped making televisions in the country because of high costs, primarily due to the 5% import duty on open cell TV panel. As per industry sources, the company had shifted TV production to Vietnam, from where it is importing fully built units as there is nil duty on that because of an FTA with Asean.

Samsung said no decision has been made on the latest government move. Sony India said it has long been committed to the government’s Make in India initiative. “This withdrawal of duty on open cell provides a strong boost to local manufacturing and will help us further enhance our efforts in this direction,” Sony India MD Sunil Nayyar said.

The demand to scrap the import duty on open cells was raised by industry players during their meeting with communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on September 16. Apart from that, the industry also sought a reduction in GST rates on TVs in order to boost demand.

Counterpoint Research associate director Tarun Pathak said open cell is a critical component and due to scrapping of the duty, firms, including Samsung and others, will relook at their assembly of TVs in India.

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