As summer approaches, the industry starts gearing up to ensure that there is a sufficient inventory of airconditioners and refrigerators. With the Videocon brand still in absentia, smaller brands are having a field day, filling in the demand gap.
The airconditioners industry is preparing for a bumper season. This is one product that shall save the industry this summer season. Refrigerators, as every year, will in all probability be in short supply by end April–early May. And the LED industry is quite topsy-turvy, with the recent changes in customs duties.
With a strong summer forecast by the Indian Meteorological Department, promise of regular electricity supply by the government, an increasing demand from smaller cities, and growing construction activity, there is every reason for the AC makers to plan increased supplies. If the government responds with a slide-back of GST from 28 percent to 18 percent, each brand can expect to post record sales. Manufacturers such as Daikin, Blue Star, Godrej, Voltas, and LG have ramped up supplies, as have GMCC and Highly, the Chinese compressor manufacturers.
The LED industry is anxiously awaiting a decision from the Ministry of Finance. CEAMA has made a presentation that the anomaly of duty made in the Union Budget be rectified before it creates more havoc. While the increase in import duty on LED/LCD/OLED panels from 7.5 percent to 15 percent is welcome, the now 10 percent duty differential between an imported finished TV and the open cell is making it tough for the players to manufacture televisions in India. The increase in duties on the inputs used to manufacture the panel from 0 to 10 percent is encouraging imports of finished sets, as the differential duty between the CBU and parts has now narrowed down to 7 percent. It is also forcing the TV brands to consider a price increase of about 10 percent. In any case, currently there are no manufacturers of parts of the panel, and even if any company plans setting up a fab, it would take at least 3 years before it starts rolling. The Make in India initiative has certainly taken a toss here!