Import Duty Current Affairs - 2020

Import duty on Green Energy Equipment hiked by 20% in Budget 2020-21

The Budget 2020-21 that was presented by the finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman in the Parliament increased the import duty of green energy equipment like cells by 20%. This is being implemented to drive local manufacturing of the equipment and lowering the import of low-quality Chinese equipment.

The step is being introduced to protect the local companies and to boost Make in India strategy.

Highlights

The Energy markets is currently one of the fast-growing markets in India. However, the market is dominated by the Chinese companies for their competitive prices. The GoI had earlier imposed safeguard duty over solar cells and models that are imported from Malaysia and China in July 2018. This is to expire by July 2020. Hence, the budget has introduced new duties.

India’s Scenario

India is the third largest consumer of energy after US and China. The manufacturing capacity of India is 3 GW for the solar cells. In spite of this, in 2018-19, India imported 2.16 billion USD worth solar photo voltaic cells.

Govt scraps import duty on open cell TV panel used to make TV sets

In a bid to boost domestic manufacturing, the Central government has removed 5% custom duty that was imposed on import of open cell TV panel. Open cell TV panel are used in manufacturing of television sets such as LED TVs.

Key Highlights

As per the notification issued by Union Ministry of Finance in this regard the open cell, (15.6 inch and above), for use in the manufacture of Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) and Light Emitting Diode (LED) TV panel would attract zero duty.

The government has also scrapped custom duty on import of Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA), Cell (glass board or substrate) and Chip on Film, which are used to manufacture open cell TV panels.

Open cell panel is an important part of TV manufacturing and covers 60-70% cost of the unit. The move to scraps import duty on open cell TV panel would also help to reduce the price of TV panel by around 3% as it would lower the input costs for TV makers.

Background

On 30 June 2017, the government had imposed a custom duty of 5% on import of such panel. Many TV makers including Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA) had opposed the increased duty, and have been complaining about a slump in demand and had requested government to waive it. TV makers have since then been complaining about a slump in demand.

Currently, open cells panels are not manufactured in India and TV companies rely on imports of these key components part of LED television sets. An import duty levied by government on open cell LED panels had also pushed some electronics makers to import TV sets from neighbouring markets like Vietnam and Thailand to avoid duties on open cell panels.