Home >Industry >Manufacturing >After China curbs, sops for local TV makers

NEW DELHI : A day after restricting imports of fully built colour television sets, the government on Friday signalled plans to offer incentives for television manufacturing in line with the scheme for domestic smartphone makers.

“Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP) for TVs is underway and specified parts like open cell, chips on films, printed circuit boards assembly (PCBA) are exempted from duty. Hence, industry will be able to rapidly move to domestic manufacturing and consumers will not see any price escalation," a commerce ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

With PMP, the Centre aims to further deepen the manufacturing ecosystem for TV sets and components in India. Open cell or television panel and PCBA are two key components of TV sets that are imported for assembling here.

The size of the TV market in India is about 25,000 crore, of which 30% comes as imports, primarily from China and South East Asia, while the rest are assembled here. Firms such as LG, Sony, Samsung and Xiaomi assemble TV sets in India with control of around 70% of market share while the remaining is with smaller players.

Manish Sharma, chief executive officer at Panasonic-India and South Asia, said the change in government policy on TV imports is not a knee-jerk reaction to the geopolitical situation as discussions on PMP have been on for at least one-and-a-half years. “The new policy will help firms backward-integrate and improve the quality of products available. India already has the capability."

Currently, major contract manufacturers like Dixon, SPPL and Videotex are assembling TV sets for major brands.

Sunil Vachani, executive chairman, Dixon Technologies, said with the new policy, he is hoping around 7,500-8,000 crore of manufacturing will shift to India gradually. Dixon that works as a contract manufacturer for firms including Samsung is looking at ramping up its annual TV production capacity from 4.5 million to 6.5 million sets, Vachani added.

Colour TV sets worth $781 million were imported in the fiscal to March, mostly from Vietnam ($428 million) and China ($292 million). While major brands import only premium products priced over 1 lakh, other imports mostly belong to cheaper brands.

Jaipal Singh, associate research manager, client devices at International Data Corp. (IDC) India, said many smaller brands are already planning to assemble in India. “The restriction will only force them to rush things," he added.

While the government’s move is seen by many to be targeting non-essential imports from China, Xiaomi said in a note it welcomed the announcement, holding that it has been manufacturing smart TVs in India since the launch of Mi TVs in 2018.

Prasid Banerjee contributed to the story.

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