The government in India has increased import duties on a range of electronic products, including LCD panels for TVs, which are now subject to a 7.5% levy.
Abhijit Kotnis, chief manufacturing officer, Videocon, (who once headed up the Videocon initiative in Europe that bought the Thomson CRT factory) said:
“The additional duty on assembled LED panels (modules) has also been increased from zero to 7.5 per cent. This is a significant step as it will boost domestic manufacturing and will also encourage foreign consumer durables”.
The move is reported to have been made as the government has come under pressure because of lower tax collections from the goods and services tax (GST). It has been implemented using emergency powers under Customs regulations, and further announcements are expected in the budget, but in the short term prices are expected to rise.
Total imports in these segments are said to be around $42 billion.
No doubt this move will help keep more manufacturing in India. It is expected to have an impact on brands such as Apple that manufacture completely outside India. The duty on TV panels probably adds to the possibility that a panel fab might be built in India – a topic that has been discussed for many, many years. However, at the moment, the prospects for a new fab don’t look good with oversupply from China on the way. (BR)