The finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the fourth budget of the second term of the Modi government on February 1, 2023. Impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, geopolitical issues and the weakening of the Indian currency over the last three years, the television manufacturers are hopeful that the budget will provide the necessary boost after years of ups and downs to the industry by lowering tax slabs and introducing a production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for the TV industry.
Lowering tax slabs
The last year saw stagnation in the high-volume mass segments due to prevailing economic conditions and low consumer sentiment among the middle class, apart from continued cost impact on the industry due to commodity, currency, and regulatory norms. Given this context, a lower GST on appliances will help. Just like last year, the industry is demanding lower tax slabs for smaller size TVs to become more affordable.
“The long-awaited key pain point for the smart TV industry that the government must take into account is the GST slab, which is 18 per cent for up to 32 inches and 28 per cent for above 32 inches models. Lowering these slabs will give customers more purchasing power, which leads to optimising the market,” says Arjun Bajaaj, Director, Videotex International.
Other than lowering GST slabs, Avneet Singh Marwah, Director and CEO, Super Plastronics Pvt Ltd, a Kodak brand Licensee, says, “We suggest the government withdraw the decision to charge the custom duty of 5 per cent on the open cell imports.”
Production Linked Incentive for TV industry
Over the last couple of years, the government of India has introduced Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes for mobile phones, IT hardware and air conditioners to boost domestic manufacturing and build a resilient component supply chain within the country. The TV industry has been demanding inclusion in the PLI scheme. “The Indian Smart TV Industry is still seeking to benefit from the PLI scheme. We are hopeful that this budget will encourage "Atmanirbhar Bharat" by providing the necessary support to localize the R&D and manufacturing in India,” adds Bajaaj.
Echoing the sentiment, Marwah says “The industry has undertaken huge efforts during the pandemic to support the economy. The entrepreneurs and the industry should feel secure while they plan to make more investments.”
Improving Road Connectivity
The industry is also hoping the government to invest in the development of better infrastructure as it will play a very important role in expanding road connectivity to semi-rural and rural areas, which will enable the industry to make the last mile deliveries.
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