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Import restrictions imposed on colour TV sets: What does this mean for you?

Essentially, this restriction has been put in place to promote local manufacturing and to curb the shipments of non-essential items for countries like China. But how does this affect you, the customer?

If you were planning to buy a TV right now you can go ahead, nothing has changed. However, in the long run, TV prices might come down. 
If you were planning to buy a TV right now you can go ahead, nothing has changed. However, in the long run, TV prices might come down.  (Pixabay)

The Indian government announced last evening that a restriction was being imposed on the import of colour TVs. The announcement was made via a notice issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).

Essentially, this restriction has been put in place to promote local manufacturing and to curb the shipments of non-essential items for countries like China.

“Import policy of colour television is amended from free to restricted,” the DGFT notification states.

What does this mean?

Putting any item under restricted category of imports means that whoever wants to import that particular commodity will first have to get a license from the commerce ministry’s DGFT before they can import it.

How can you apply for a license?

The notification states that the procedure for the grant of license will be separately issued by the DGFT, so we will have to wait for the details.

What has been restricted?

The restrictions have been imposed on TV sets with screen sizes starting from 36cm (14 inches approx) right up to 105cm (41 inches approx) and bigger. Liquid crystal display television set of screen size below 63cm (24 inches approx) is also restricted as stated in the notification. There is another category simply listed as ‘Other’ (with exim code 85287219) which is also listed as restricted but there are no more details about this.

Here’s the entire list:

The list of colour TVs facing import restrictions. 
The list of colour TVs facing import restrictions.  (DGFT)

What does this mean for you, the customer?

Right now, nothing.

If you were planning to buy a TV right now you can go ahead, nothing has changed. However, in the long run, TV prices might come down since the manufacturing will happen locally. If TVs are made in India, you will be paying less for them than you are going to pay now.

Mind you, this is not going to happen immediately.

Who is it going to affect?

This import restriction directly affects the TV manufacturers and tech companies selling TVs here. The local TV manufacturing industry will get a much-needed boost and all those companies that were importing their products will now have to find local solutions.

While this all seems like a lot of work, a few companies say that they have been investing in local manufacturing for a while now.

“Sony has been investing heavily to shift local manufacturing of televisions to India since 2015. Currently, we are successfully manufacturing 99% of BRAVIA televisions in India and we are quite satisfied with the production quality, which is at par with global standards and well accepted by our Indian consumers. We have faith in the government and this step has built the right momentum for India’s journey to become self-reliant,” said Satish Padmanabhan, Head of Sales at Sony India, when we asked them about these new import restrictions.

We have reached out to a few more companies and we’ll update you with their reactions.