Wednesday, July 09, 2014: In the wake of the NDA Government making preparations for presenting their first budget (of this tenure) on 10 July, the lighting industry is expecting that the authorities will take suitable steps to create an empowering environment that buttresses the domestic lighting industry in dealing with numerous headwinds.
The major hurdles that the industry faces include inadequate awareness among consumers entailing appropriate lighting products, followed by pervasive presence of substandard Chinese products, lack of standardised technical norms and the high cost of domestic manufacturing owing to low volumes.
Taking note of the constraints, the price of lighting products is still high for domestic patrons. Topping the industry wish list is the demand that import duty be hiked to curb the dumping of cheap, often sub-standard Chinese products, therefore promoting domestic manufacturing.
Next in line is the provision of tax incentives to ensure a level playing field for domestic manufacturers of electrical components. Third is the scrapping of import duty on raw materials to reduce overall production costs. Fourth is promoting the use of lithium ion batteries so that they replace oil-based power generation for transmission towers and auto vehicles. The fifth is promoting exports of finished energy-efficient electrical products to African as well as Middle-East countries.
Nevertheless, the lighting sector believes that 2014 could be a game-changing year not just for the Indian industry but for the nation at large. For the purpose, a robust, responsible and growth-oriented budget is instrumental to combat the demons of high inflation followed by low growth.