TV prices set to rise again, from April 1, calls increase for inclusion in PLI scheme


The prices of television sets are all set to rise from April 1 as all the Chinese panel manufacturers have increased rates by 30 percent.

This comes at a time when television makers have sought that TVs be made under the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme. Currently, only segments like air conditioners, LED lights, tablets, and laptops have been made part of the PLI scheme.

Avneet Singh Marwah, CEO of Super Plastronics told Moneycontrol that since there is no alternate manufacturing except China, “so we are not able to rectify these price increases.” Super Plastronics is the exclusive brand licensee of Thomson and Kodak TV brands in India.

“Global demand is decreasing but these panel makers from China are still increasing the prices. We have no alternatives to buy panels. The government should either include the TV segment under PLI or reduce the GST. Or there could be a reduction in customs duty to ensure that customers can benefit,” he added.

All the panels used in television sets globally are manufactured in China. This helps these panel makers increase prices at will since they hold a monopoly in this component segment.

Since the Coronavirus outbreak, TV prices have seen an increase almost every quarter. Initially, the price rise was on account of a manufacturing shutdown in China, but later the price-rise continued even as the demand-supply situation stabilised.

The head of consumer appliances at a global white goods firm said that TV manufacturers have ‘their hands tied’ because China is the only market that supplies these components.

“India already has re-imposed the 5 percent customs duty on open-cell panels from October 2020 onwards. This coincided with panel prices rising by 35 percent during festive sales. It is getting tough to sustain,” he added.

TV prices see the highest volatility

Moneycontrol had earlier reported how television prices in India had seen the highest volatility in 2020 hit by panel price rise, customs duty on open-cell, and high goods and services tax (GST).

Televisions upto 32 inches are at 18 percent GST while those above 32 inches attract the maximum 28 percent GST rate.

Marwah said that for the customer sentiment to improve, there should either be a GST cut or customs duty reduction.

Television makers have already sought inclusion in the PLI scheme so that TV panels could also start being manufactured in India. However, the government is yet to take a decision on this matter.

If included in PLI, the manufacturers will get financial incentives to set up local production facilities for television components.

In 2020, TV prices rose by almost 45 percent with panel price fluctuations. This volatility is set to rise even as there is no shortage of panels globally.