Press Trust of india

TV imports ban to help domestic industry, create employment opportunities, say manufacturers

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New Delhi:  The government’s move to impose restrictions on imports of TV sets will boost domestic manufacturing and assembling activities in India, according to leading industry players.

Brands such as Sony, LG, Panasonic, Thomson and contract manufacturers like Dixon Technologies say the ban would create a momentum for local manufacturing and create opportunities for the industry.

“India can emerge as the next hub for manufacturing TV not only for the Indian markets but also for the global market. This step is definitely in the right direction and will help in creating a global hub, which we want to be and it also helps to create a strong ecosystem for manufacturing of the products,” Dixon Technologies Chairman Sunil Vachani told PTI.

This will also help control the “flood of import” of TV sets in the short term and the industry will be self-reliant with required scale and will compete with global markets, he added.

According to Vachani, the Indian TV market is expected to be around 16 to 17 million units per year and around 30 per cent of this was mostly imported from countries like China, Thailand and Vietnam.

“It (import) is worth Rs 7,000 crore of the local production,” he added.

Dixon Technologies is a leading contract manufacturer in home appliances and consumer electronics segment and has manufacturing units in Noida and Tirupati.

Panasonic India President and CEO  Manish Sharma said that consumers are going to get high quality TV sets assembled in India now.

“It will definitely have a positive impact on domestic assembling which happens here. Leading brands already have manufacturing and assembling units in the country. So, it is not going to impact us,” he said.

However, Sharma said that price-wise consumers will not benefit and the price would remain the same in the market.

Industry body Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA) said the move to license import of fully built TV by putting them on the restricted list would support domestic manufacturing.

“This will encourage and support domestic manufacturing of all size TV, more investment in the sector and hence more job creation,” said CEAMA President Kamal Nandi.

The government has imposed restrictions on imports of colour television, a move aimed at promoting domestic manufacturing and cut inbound shipments of non-essential items from countries like China.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in a notification has put imports of TV under a restricted category from free, which means importer of that commodity will have to seek licence from the commerce ministry’s DGFT for the imports.

The curbs are imposed on TV sets of screen size ranging from up to 36 cm to over 105 cm. Liquid crystal display (LCD) television sets of screen size below 63 cm are also covered under the restrictions.

According to South Korean electronic major LG, the move will encourage manufacturing in India and is a step forward for self-reliant India.

“We welcome this announcement. LG Electronics has been the largest TV manufacturer in India. Our entire range of TV’s including OLED & UHD is manufactured in India,” said LG Electronics India Business Head – Home Entertainment Gireesan T Gopi.

He further said: ”We are committed to Make in India vision of PM Narendra Modi and will further strengthen our manufacturing capacity in India.”

Sony said that now the company manufactures the entire portfolio of its TV brand Bravia in India and has been investing heavily to shift local manufacturing of televisions to India since 2015.

“Currently, we are successfully manufacturing 99 per cent of Bravia televisions in India and we are quite satisfied with the production quality, which is at par with global standards and well accepted by our Indian consumers,” said Sony India Head of Sales Satish Padmanabhan.

He further said: ”We have faith in the government and this step has built the right momentum for India’s journey to become self-reliant.”

Similarly, Super Plastronics, which is a brand licensee for the TV brand for Kodak and Thomson for the Indian market, said this would encourage the homegrown brands to invest in manufacturing capabilities.

“‘The new announcement by DGFT will be a step towards encouraging homegrown brands to invest in manufacturing capabilities within India and lead to more employment, technology advancement and local partnerships. Its a welcome move, and to achieve complete self-reliance, we need to complete the ecosystem of value addition,” said Super Plastronics CEO and Director Avneet Singh Marwah.

Presently, India needs to have component and panel display manufacturing plant to steadily support TV manufacturing, Singh added.

Comments from Samsung, which is a market leader in the segment, could not be obtained at the time of filing this story.

According to a report by Counterpoint Research, shipments of TVs in the Indian market grew by 15 per cent to 15 million units in 2019.

Though Korean electronics major Samsung continues to lead the overall TV market, the emerging smart TV segment is being cornered by the newer players such as Xiaomi and TCL, the research firm said.

Presently, though a lot of TV assembling is happening in India still the contribution of local value addition is very less as crucial components such as TV screen and other electronic components are imported from countries such as China.

According to a joint report of CEAMA and Frost & Sullivan, the TV market is expected to grow to 284 lakh units in 2024-25 from 175 lakh units in 2018-19.

It further said that Open Cell panel and the chips of the TV are predominantly imported from China besides some other markets such as Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam and only the last mile assembly is done in India.

The government has removed import duty on open cell panel used in the production of TV sets to lower the cost, the report said.

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