On 31st July, government had put a ban on import of color televisions in order to promote, “MAKE IN INDIA” products. The television manufacturing companies were given sufficient amount of time to match up and build the required products. Last year the government had given the companies a tax exemption to build and know how to insert cells in the tv sets. This year long exemption is supposed to end on 30th September.

The government will charge 5% custom duty on imports of open cell for televisions from October 1st, ’20. This is to help increase local manufacturing and value addition. According to the government officials the tax charged will not be more than Rs.250 but according to the companies the price rise could be between Rs. 400- Rs. 1200 depending on the size.

CEAMA- Consumer electronics and appliances manufacturers association said that this move by the government will add pressure on the industry that is already suffered a lot due to the covid-19 pandemic and this will also in turn affect the consumer demand.

According to Kamal Nandi, president of CEAMA as well as business head of EVP & Godrej Appliances, “The resumption of customs duty on Open Cells will put added pressure on the TV industry which is already reeling under stress due to COVID. This may make the domestic manufacturing uncompetitive and expensive. Open cell panels form nearly 65% of the total production cost of television and the imposition of duty may have an impact on the overall pricing of TVs.”

The process of building domestic capacity for open cells begun last year has not yet derived complete results as it is believed that even though a domestic process can begin it will not be speedy enough to curb all imports and thus the prices are going to rise.

The government sources have argued with the motive saying that charging 5% custom duty is better than paying 20% custom duty on imports and thus imports will not help domestic manufacturers grow.