Hike in custom duty may impact coming festive sales, consumer durable industry

Hike in custom duty may impact coming festive sales, consumer durable industry Hike in custom duty to 10 per cent on compressors, used for air conditioners and refrigerators, can be a “set back” and may have an impact on the coming festive season sales, according to the consumer durable industry.

Although, government’s decision to double the basic custom duty on ACs, refrigerators and washing machines to 20 per cent from the existing 10 per cent would encourage domestic manufacturing, said the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA).

“Hike in custom duty on ACs, refrigerators and washing machines will bring back the emphasis on Centre’s ‘Make in India’ vision at the same time drive momentum for local manufactured goods and develop new capacities in India,” CEAMA President Manish Sharma said.

However, he also added: “Price rise for compressors can be a set back for the industry but, we are keeping a close track of the price impact as festive season is around the corner.”

The government on Wednesday doubled the import duty on ACs, household refrigerators and washing machines (less than 10 kg) to 20 per cent.

The basic customs duty on compressors and speakers are also raised to 10 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively from 7.5 and 10 per cent.

South Korean manufacturer LG said that it would have to immediately hike the price of its ACs and high end refrigerators.

“We would have to immediately hike our price. We are importing the compressors for our air conditioners, which are fully based on invertor technology. Besides we are also importing high end big door refrigerator (500 ltrs),” said LG Business Head Vijay Babu.

While, Haier India president Eric Braganza said that this would led to increase of prices and may have impact on the coming festive season sales, which constitutes around 30 per cent sales of the industry.

“Prices would go up. … as it is the dollar has gone up… might effect demand during the festival season,” said Braganza.

However, Godrej Appliances Business Head and EVP Kamal Nandi said that there would be little impact on the industry as it would only impact large size imported products which constitutes very less in numbers.

“As far as our industry is concerned, large size televisions, large size refrigerators – side by side and large size front load washing machines are the ones getting imported, which are very few in numbers as compared to the overall size of the market,” said Nandi.

Large size refrigerators with 500 litres and above capacity, sells only one lakh units which constitutes roughly one per cent of the industry volume.

“Moreover, as the consumers of this segment are value driven and not price sensitive, the increase in custom duties should not impact the sale for this segment,” he added.

While, home grown Mirc Electronics, which manufactures product under brand name Onida, has termed it as “good move”.

“Overall, duty increase is going to help in fiscal prudence and will strengthen the rupee, which will even benefit the industry at large,” said Mirc Electronics MD Vijay Mansukhani.

He also said that increase in customs duty on AC would not have much impact as this is not the season for AC sales.

The development was designed by ET Retail.com

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