Locally manufactured television sets will become cheaper by up to Rs 3,000 with finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday announcing reduction in basic customs duty (BCD) on imported parts to 2.5 per cent from 5 per cent. The reduction of customs duty on parts of open cells will help to effectively reduce the price of TVs by around 5 per cent, according to some industry players.
Open cell panels account for over 60-70 per cent of the cost of manufacturing LED TV sets. Most TV makers import these panels.
In her Budget speech, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said "... to promote value addition in the manufacture of televisions, I propose to reduce the basic customs duty on parts of open cells of TV panels to 2.5 per cent." Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA) President Eric Braganza said this move will help to increase the domestic value addition and growth of the sector.
"This is a good step for the industry and a fillip for domestic manufacturing. Most of the manufacturers will extend the benefits to the consumers," he said. Super Plastronic Pvt Ltd (SSPL), which has licences for international brands including Blaupunkt, Thomson, Kodak and White-Westinghouse - for the Indian market, said a reduction of customs duty to 2.5 per cent will reduce the final price of the TV set by 5 per cent.
"This is a welcoming move by the government of India to reduce customs duty on the open cell to 2.5 per cent, we will pass this benefit to customers. Television prices can come down up to Rs 3,000 on larger screens," said SPPL CEO and founder Avneet Singh Marwah. Sony India Managing Director Sunil Nayyar said: "The newly announced reduction in basic customs duty for several television component imports is a big boost for the television industry. We welcome this budget in its entirety and we are optimistic about our future business plans in India."
According to him, this budget should propel more demand and consumer spending across various sectors, especially with more disposable income in the hand of consumers owing to significant tax benefits. Panasonic Life Solutions India Chairman Manish Sharma said a reduction in tax for both the middle and upper class indicates more money in the hand of taxpayers thus stimulating demand and driving consumption. "It is encouraging to see a reduction in customs duties for inputs/parts of certain electronic items like lithium-ion batteries, TV, and camera lens. It will improve the feasibility for enhancing backward integration and subsequently enabling local manufacturing of electronics," he said.
Haier Appliances India President Satish N S said this reduction will not only benefit the manufacturers but will also be a lifestyle change for many consumers as they can buy televisions at an affordable rate. He also applauded the government's plans to establish three centres of excellence for artificial intelligence to enable 'Make AI in India' and 'Make AI work for India'. "This move will benefit the industry and encourage early AI adoption in the country," he said, adding, "with the advent of AI in the consumer appliances and electronics segment, it has opened a wide array of possibilities, given the massive size of the electronics market."
Earlier, the government had in September 2019 scrapped the duty on open cell for a year. However, it was reimposed a year later in 2020. Videotex International, which owns Daiwa and Shinco brands and is also OEM/ODM Smart TV manufacturer for Realme, Toshiba, Lloyd, Compaq, BPL, Hyundai and over 15 leading brands of India, said the reduction of duty is a "real game-changer moment" for the industry.
"Prices for LED TVs are expected to fall by 1 to 1.5 per cent and the benefits of the same shall be passed on to the customers. This will significantly boost the domestic television manufacturing industry and help compete with global brands. This decision is a much-awaited one," said Videotex International Director Arjun Bajaj. According to the latest Counterpoint Research report, India's smart TV market recorded a 38 per cent year-on-year growth in shipments during the July-September quarter.
Global brands led India's smart TV segment with a 40 per cent share, followed by Chinese brands with a 38 per cent share. While the Indian brands showed the fastest growth, doubling their share to 22 per cent of the total smart TV shipments, the report said.