Vocal for Local: Modi govt restricts ‘Colour TV’ imports; India imported TVs worth this much in recent years

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Updated: Jul 31, 2020 12:05 PM

Around 30 per cent of TVs are imported from various countries and about 80-85 per cent TV components are imported as there is no local manufacturing.

TV, colour TV, television, TV imports, TV imports restrictedColour TV imports had shot up dramatically by 52.86 per cent in FY19. (Bloomberg image)

In an effort to promote Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Atmanirbhar Bharat mission, the government restricted the imports of colour television in India. Import policy of colour television is amended from free to restricted, Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification. The latest step by the government is taken to promote local manufacturing and cut non-essential imports. China and Vietnam are the two nations that send the maximum colour televisions into the Indian market. India imported colour TVs worth Rs 7,120 crore in FY19, which fell 22.56 per cent to Rs 5,514 crore in FY20, according to the Department of Commerce. However, the imports of such TVs had shot up dramatically by 52.86 per cent in FY19. 

“The new announcement by DGFT will be a step towards encouraging homegrown brands to invest in manufacturing capabilities within India and lead to more employment, technology advancement, and local partnerships,” Avneet Singh Marwah, Director and CEO, Super Plastronics Pvt Ltd, a Kodak brand licensee, told Financial Express Online. It is a welcome move and to achieve complete self-reliance, we need to complete the ecosystem of value addition, Avneet added.

Around 30 per cent of TVs are imported from various countries and about 80-85 per cent TV components are imported as there is no local manufacturing. India needs to have component and panel display manufacturing plant to steadily support TV manufacturing, Avneet further said. 

Another Indian TV manufacturer also hailed the government’s decision, saying it will provide Indian consumers with a better quality product and increase employment opportunities in the country. “This is a good first step towards boosting local TV manufacturing in India and will also open many new job opportunities,” Arjun Bajaaj, CEO and Founder, Daiwa televisions, told Financial Express Online. With local manufacturing, customers will get better products as from China, the products come in the form of CBU and are just standardised products, Arjun Bajaaj added. 

While the coronavirus pandemic taught nations how over-dependence on imports can increase risk at challenging times, India pledged to become vocal for local and boost local manufacturing as much as possible under government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. Restricted category would entail a requirement of justification being required from importers for such imports with multiple other possible permissions or NOC, said Abhishek Jain, Tax Partner, EY. The objective seems to be to foster the make in India initiative of the Government with a specific focus on self-sustenance, Abhishek Jain added.  

Meanwhile, the government has stepped up to bring investments from abroad and boost local manufacturing in India. The centre aims at increasing job opportunities and self-reliance by manufacturing everything which is possible to make in India. Various state governments are also in conversation with foreign firms and trying to lure them to invest in their respective states.  

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