TV companies are thinking of importing a finished LED TV panel from countries that have a free trade agreement with India. Companies might import LED TV panels from countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and South Korea. Companies such as Samsung, LG, Sony, and Panasonic India companies are reviewing their ‘Make in India’ strategy for television. The government has imposed import duty on the open cell of the LED TV panel so that these companies can soon decide to reduce the Assembling operation in India. They are planning to import a finished LED TV panel from countries that have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India. According to two senior officials of the industry, the cost of companies might get reduced by 7 to 8%.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on February 1, while presenting the budget, announced to install 10% import duty on open cell led TV panel. Manish Sharma, President of Panasonic India and Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association, said, “The decision of 10% duty on open cell LED panels is astonishing. It’s against Make in India too. So far, there is no duty on the panel imported through open cell format.
Sharma said, “We will urge the government to reconsider this decision again. If the government doesn’t approve this then the industry can decide to import the panel from FTA countries.” He said that this will have a bad effect on the investment and jobs in the country. Sharma said that in India, full-fledged manufacturing of LED panels will take some time and the Indian market is not far away from this. The Samsung India spokesperson said, “Increasing customs duty on the TV panel in the budget will open more business opportunities for the importers rather than the manufacturers. Right now we are reviewing the changes in the budget.”
Sony India’s Sales Head Satish Padmanabhan and LG India spokesman said “Companies are looking for other options after rise in import duty on the TV panel. Only then a decision will be made about this. These brands and top contract manufacturers had increased the open cell LED TV panel import after installing 7.5% duty on the LED television panel in December, for which companies have also provided specialized assembly facilities in the country. In the budget, the duty on the finished LED panel is increased by 15%, while the import duty on the fully-installed television unit is 20%. In the overall price of LED TVs, the TV panel has a share of 80 to 85%.
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