Save the Indian Television Industry from further injury

We are thankful to you and your team for all the support to ease the doing of business for the Mobile and Electronics Industry during this pandemic.

The developed economies are recovering from the pandemic whereas India has a long way to go. In order for India to get back on track it is imperative to frame the existing policies in favour of the Indian manufacturers.

The ASEAN FTA is a major blow to the Indian domestic manufacturing television industry and the EMS companies. The zero duty import of Television from Vietnam has injured the television manufacturers. To stem the flight of manufacturing to ASEAN countries and to protect employment in the sector the government should strive in addressing the issues to help the manufacturers.

The reduction of custom duty on open cell from 5% to 0% till September 2020 has given a huge flip to domestic manufacturing of LED televisions and led to reduction in imports from ASEAN countries.

There was a proposal by MeitY to impose duty of 5% on open cell and bring pure cell to zero percentage to encourage the process of polarizer film and COF bonding for open cell. That said, we are concerned about the implementation of this notification as the anomaly in differentiation of Open Cell with bonding and Open Cell without bonding (Pure Cell) still remains a challenge. We have highlighted some concerns which the local industry is facing and are going to face with the implementation of this notification. The key excerpts from the same are as follows:

a) Bonding and polarizer film attachment are done globally for companies manufacturing open cell either by themselves or through their associated group companies only.

b) Chinese or Thai companies who are doing this manufacturing, buy graded pure cell (rejected or refurbished) and do the post operation which increases the risk of e-waste dumping in India; g. old CRT, LCD panels still coming in through ASEAN route and being sold through grey channel.

c) The grey market will flourish as opportunistic traders will import complete Open Cell (bonded Cell) by wrongly declaring it as Pure Cell for processing at reduced duties. It is visually not possible to identify the difference between pure cell and cell with polarizer film and bomding.

d) The above stated risk even become higher as there is no separate HSN code which differentiates the pure Open Cell and Open Cell with polarizer film and COF bonding.

e)   Indian domestic television manufacturers have contacted open cell makers for this project. However, none of them has shown interest to outsource the technology to any third party, nor they have allowed elsewhere worldwide.

f) This process being quite automated, will not consume high human resources and the entire plant can be run by 50-person Max.

g) The details of shipment and panel forecast is attached as Annexure 1.

h) Various players in India are using different technologies for the open For example, LG who is one of our members uses only IPS technology whereas the investment coming in to the country for polariser film and bonding will only be supplying panels with VA technology and if we impose duty on open cell then such players would have a disability and could switch to imports.

i) If we allow pure cell at zero duty and impose duty on open cell then it will give unfair advantage to a leading TV company which has its own brand and also a fab in China which will supply pure cell to its own subsidiary in India and get zero duty benefit while others will not have access to pure cell procurement.

Therefore, we strongly urge and request to extend the zero duty on open cell for another 3 years. This is also due to the factor that currently there are no manufacturers for open cell and even if someone decides to establish a plant, it will take at least 3-4 years for the plant to come up. If the duty on open cell is not extended beyond September 2020, it will again lead to high imports of LED TVs under FTA, a huge blow to the Make in India programme of Government of India. It will have an adverse impact on the India domestic Television manufacturers and the EMS companies. Further the government can Announce the proposed PMP on TVs where duty on Open Cells can be levied post the fab becomes operational.

We are further delighted to inform that ICEA is coming up with a report on “Display for Mobiles and Electronic Devices” for the Indian market. We are aiming to complete the report by mid- October 2020 and the report would be focusing on the various types of display, manufacturing technologies, its applications, advantages, market structure, imports and the export scenario.

We trust that our recommendations will be considered favourably, as it will boost the localization of televisions in the country and will help in putting a curb to the rising imports from ASEAN ultimately fulfilling the dream of “Make in India” and creating a win – win situation for both the consumers and manufacturers.


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