The government's decision to put colour televisions into the restricted category is expected to boost the production of TV sets locally, said Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA).
The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in a July 30 notification said the import of colour television sets has been moved to the 'restricted' category from the ‘free’ category. This means any company that wants to import a colour TV set has to seek a special license from DGFT for this purpose.
About 30 percent of the televisions sold in India are imported from places like China and Vietnam. The government move is to indigenise the production of televisions and lower the reliance on imports.
Kamal Nandi, President-CEAMA and Business Head & Executive Vice President-Godrej Appliances said the decision is expected to have a positive impact as it will provide a major boost to the indigenous manufacturing and ‘self-reliant’ theme of India.
“It will attract more investments in the technology and manufacturing which will lead to creation of more jobs. TV is one of the larger segments under the entire domain of Appliance and Consumer Electronics accounting to a volume of almost 17 million with an estimated sale value of almost Rs. 25,000 crore,” he added.
In India, the TV manufacturing industry is among the biggest employers in the consumer durables space. Nandi said more than 40,000 people are employees across direct and indirect production facilities.
The government was working to phase out the process of importing TVs for the past three years. The idea is that in the first stage, complete TV import will be restricted. At a later stage, import of components like LED panels and open-cell for the LED screens will also be restricted to encourage manufacturing these products locally.
As part of the DGFT circular, apart from colour TVs, LCD televisions below 63 cm screen size have also been put into the restricted category.
Arjun Bajaj, CEO & Founder Daiwa (television brand) said this is a good first step towards boosting local TV manufacturing in India.
“With local manufacturing by Indian manufacturers customers will get better products as from China the products coming in the form of completely built units were just standardised products,” he added.