TV makers urge Govt to extend zero duty on import of open cells beyond Sept 2020

Television manufacturers in India have urged the government to extend zero duty on import of open cells beyond September 2020, cautioning that not doing so could increase TV imports from ASEAN countries having free trade agreements with India.

The ministry of electronics and IT (Meity) had proposed to impose 5% duty on import of open cells and bring pure cell to zero percentage to encourage the process of polarizer film and COF bonding for open cell in India.

An industry body representing the likes of Panasonic, LG have written to the finance ministry warning about the flourishing of grey market if open cells (with bonding) and pure cells (without bonding) are taxed differently as both components have the same HS code and cannot be visually differentiated.

“The grey market will flourish as opportunistic traders will import complete open cell by wrongly declaring it as pure cell for processing it at reduced duties,” the India Cellular and Electronics association said in a letter dated August 10 to revenue secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey.

There are no open cell manufacturers in India and the set-up will require at least 3-4 years. Imposing 5% duty will lead to high impot of LED TVs in India under FTA, a huge blow to Make in India programme and domestic TV manufacturers, ICEA said.

ICEA said that Indian TV makers have approached open cell makers for this project but none of them have shown interest to outsource the technology to any third party anywhere in the world.

It also said that the process will not consume much human resource as it is highly automated and the entire plant can be run by maximum 50 persons.

“We strongly urge and request to extend the zero duty on open cells for another 3 years….the government can aanoince the proposed PMP on TVs where duty on imports can be levied post the fab becomes operational,” ICEA said.-ET Telecom

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