Open cell TV panels to face five percent import duty from October 1, despite industry requests

Government officials said the price increase due to this duty will be insignificant, dismissing claims of substantive price rise being put forth by the industry.

NEW DELHI: Open cell television panel imports will face basic customs duty of 5% from October 1 as the government has decided to impose the levy despite repeated requests from the industry to defer it.

Government officials said the price increase due to this duty will be insignificant, dismissing claims of substantive price rise being put forth by the industry.

“For how long can such import duty sops continue? The TV industry is well aware of the basic tenets of phased manufacturing. The sop was offered for a limited period of one year in anticipation that the industry would build capacity for manufacturing critical components in India,” said a finance ministry official, who did not wish to be identified.


“Leading brands are importing open cell for a basic price of Rs 2,700 for a 32-inch and about Rs 4,000-4,500 for a 42-inch television. The impact of 5% duty on open cell would, thus, not be more than Rs 150-250 for a TV,” said the official.

TV makers have argued that prices of fully built panels have risen 50% and customs duty of 5% on open cell – a major component for TVs – would lead to increase in sale prices by a minimum of Rs 600 for a 32-inch television, Rs 1,200-1,500 for a 42-inch TV and even higher for large-screen televisions.

Duty exemption was given to open cell for one yearso that the industry could move towards value addition from mere assembling, but that has not happened. The industry should invest more in local manufacturing since it has been given adequate protection with 20% duty on imports of fully made TVs since 2017 and certain categories of TV imports have been put in the restricted category since July this year, said a second official.
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