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TV makers get clearance to import big-sized premium sets

Leading TV makers like Samsung, LG and Sony have been granted licence by the government to import finished TV sets into the country, giving the companies a breather as the festive season gains momentum, industry players said.
These TV manufacturers rely on imports for high-end premium televisions. Several firms also import TVs of 55-inch and above screen sizes.

“Our super large screen televisions were stuck at the port but we have now received the licence from the government,” Sony India managing director Sunil Nayyar told PTI.
After this, availability of such premium TV sets would go up and help meet demand during the festive season, he added.

“We had a substantial demand for such super large screen TVs and we are happy to meet our customers’ expectations and provide them with cutting edge products, like our first 8K television Z8H in 216 cm (85-inch) announced just yesterday, so that they can enjoy 8K brilliance with immersive sound and ultimate cinematic experience,” Nayyar said.

South Korean manufacturer LG Electronics also confirmed it has got licence for the same.

“We have also got license from the government and our consignment has been released,” a company official said.

According to sources, South Korean manufacturer Samsung has also got an import licence for a part of its TV shipment that was stuck at ports. Now, Samsung is sending these TVs to the market to meet festive season demand.

The firm has applied for a licence for the next batch of TVs, which is expected to be received soon, a source said.

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 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.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), under the ministry of commerce and industry, granted licences to the companies. Consignments at ports were stuck after a notification earlier in July imposed restrictions on import of colour televisions.

The import restriction was aimed at promoting domestic manufacturing and cut inbound shipments of non-essential items from countries like China.

The DGFT had put TVs under the restricted category, which meant importers would have to seek a licence for their inbound shipments.

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

Presently, though a lot of TV assembling is happening in India, the local value addition is limited as crucial components such as TV screens are imported from countries like China.

According to a joint report by industry body 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.

Open cell panels and chips are predominantly imported from China, besides some other markets like Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, and only the last-mile assembly is done in India.

To boost domestic manufacturing, the government has from this month reimposed customs duty of 5 per cent on open cells, a key component of TVs.-Times Of India

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