The government is likely to scrap the existing 5% duty on open cell LED panels — a critical television component.
With duty-free imports from Asean countries becoming more attractive than manufacturing TVs locally, the government has decided to do away with duty on open cell LED panels. The following is being considered to save the ‘Make in India’ initiative from being hurt.
Samsung Electronics has stopped making televisions in India and is now importing them from Asean countries, while LG Electronics is said to be considering following suit. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion backs the move and a final decision will be taken in consultation with the finance ministry.
LG India, the country’s second-largest television player, has been contemplating importing finished TV sets from Asean nations through the foreign trade agreement route to remain competitive.
In a recent report, Economic Times has reported that the electronics ministry has already consulted twice with senior officials of Samsung and LG and with officials of the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA) to understand the issues.
The government first imposed 10% import duty on open cell TV panels in the February 2018 budget and reduced it to 5% in March after the industry said it would affect investment. Open cell panels – which require some assembling and value-addition before being ready – account for 65-70% of a television’s production value.