India restricts colour TV imports in move to boost ‘Make in India

03 Aug 2020


The government has imposed restrictions on the import of colour television sets in a move aimed at boosting local production, is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for `Aatmanirbhar Barat’. The import of TVs in certain categories will now require a licence from the government

A notification issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) on Thursday said that the import policy of colour television sets has been amended from "free" to "restricted". This means that the import of TVs in certain categories will now require a licence from the government.
The change in import policy will adversely impact import colour TV sets of screen size up to 36 cm; television sets of screen size of 36 cm but not exceeding 54 cm; television sets of screen size of 54 cm but not exceeding 68 cm; television sets of screen size of 68 cm but not exceeding 74 cm; television sets of screen size of 74 cm but not exceeding 87 cm; television sets of screen size of 87 cm but not exceeding 105 cm; television sets of screen size exceeding 105 cm; and liquid crystal display television sets of screen size below 63 cm.
"Actual user conditions would not be applicable for importers applying for an authorissation to import the goods 'restricted' in this notification. The procedure for grant of licence will be separately issued by DGFT," the notification said.
Indian imports around 30 per cent of all TVs sold in the country and about 80-85 per cent TV components are also imported as there is no local manufacturing. India lacks component and panel display manufacturing plants that are needed to steadily support TV manufacturing.  
India imported colour TVs worth Rs7,120 crore in FY19, which fell 22.56 per cent to Rs5,514 crore in FY20, according to the Department of Commerce. However, the imports of certain categories of TVs had shot up dramatically by 52.86 per cent in FY19. 
China and Vietnam are the two nations that send the maximum colour television sets to India. 
The DGFT notification comes days after India imposed a ban on popular Chinese mobile applications. 
Indian manufacturers of colour TV sets welcomed the decision and assured consumers and the government that the decision will not lead to any price rise. Since a majorly of big brands in this segment has manufacturing set up in India, the decision will only impact those who engage in trading. The decision will boost investments and increase job opportunities in India, they point out.
India imported colour television sets worth $781 million during the year ended 31 March, most of which came from Vietnam ($428 million) and China ($292 million). 
PM Narendra Modi has said that India needs to end its dependence on the import of gadgets, equipment, solar panels and technology from foreign countries.
Earlier this month, union power minister RK Singh also announced India will not allow import of power equipment from China and Pakistan because of cybersecurity threats. India also, last week, restricted Chinese companies from participating in public procurement bids by India without approval from competent authorities citing security concerns.
Simultaneously, the government has stepped up efforts to bring investments from abroad and boost manufacturing in India. The centre aims at increasing job opportunities and self-reliance by manufacturing everything which is possible to make in India. Various state governments are also in conversation with foreign firms and trying to lure them to invest in their respective states.  

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