Customs duty on colour TVs, phones, microwave ovens hiked; move hailed

Imported electronic goods including colour television sets, mobile phones, microwave ovens and LED lamps are set to become more expensive. Hoping to give a boost to the Make in India programme, the Finance Ministry has increased the basic customs duty on a host of imported electronic items. According to the recent notification, customs duty on imported microwave ovens has been doubled to 20 per cent from the earlier 10 per cent. Similarly, customs duty on colour TV sets has been increased to 15 per cent from 10 percent. For push-button telephones or mobiles, the duty has been raised to 15 percent from nil, while duty on water heaters and hair dressing instruments has been doubled to 20 per cent.

Experts said the move will benefit the government’s campaign to make India a global manufacturing hub by making imports more expensive. Abhishek Jain, Tax Partner, EY India says, “To foster the national initiative of Make in India, the government has raised the basic customs duty on various electronic products including mobile phones, microwave ovens, television sets, LED lamps, cameras. This would make import of these goods costlier and industry would be forced to explore domestic manufacture of these goods to reduce cost instead of importing these goods.”

Videocon Wallcam, the fast growing brand engaged in End-to-End Security & Surveillance solutions has welcomed the Government’s decision of imposing additional import duty on electronic items. Among the list of items also falls the Video Surveillance product category including CCTV cameras and Video Recorders (DVRs and NVRs) where the custom duty has been increased by 5% taking it up from current 10% to 15%.
Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Arvind Bali, CEO, Videocon Telecom and Videocon WallCam said, “We welcome the Government’s new regulation on Import duty. We feel that the new policy will promote the Government’s initiative of ‘Make in India’ and will go a long way in supporting brand’s like ours engaged in manufacturing of products in India and giving us edge over others.

CEAMA President Manish Sharma said: “We have been pushing the government to increase the basic customs duty for CBUs imported into the country which in turn will benefit the overall domestic ACE industry.” Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA) is an all India industry body in the consumer electronics and durables sector. Sharma, who is also the President and CEO of Panasonic India and South Asia said: “Further to this significant development, local manufacturing will grow, giving the much- needed impetus to the government’s Make-in-India vision.”

Godrej Appliances Business Head and EVP Kamal Nandi: “This will benefit and promote domestic manufacturing of microwave ovens, supporting government’s initiative of Make In India.”