Make in India: Samsung to commence local production of TV sets from December

The company has said the local plant will drastically reduce India’s import dependency in the sector by catering to the majority of the domestic market and limiting imports to extremely high end and low volume products.

Kolkata: Samsung India, the country’s largest consumer electronics and smartphone maker, has told the government that it will commence local production of TV sets by December 2020, but it needs permission to import TV sets till then to ensure that ‘business continuity’ is not drastically impacted in the festive season.

Maintaining the “current threshold volumes is pivotal for setting up of the domestic TV manufacturing facility”, the company said in a letter written to IT and electronics minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, on September 28.

The government had put television sets on the restricted list of imports for the first time in 20 years on July 30, as part of its strategy to discourage imports from China and boost local manufacturing. Companies now need licences to import TV sets and so far the government has not issued any such permit.


In the letter to the minister, Samsung said the import impediments were “against the ethos of Ease of Doing Business”, and imports held at customs were impacting business. “As we are setting up the TV manufacturing plant by December 2020, we request for smooth operations and business continuity.” ET has reviewed the letter. Two industry executives said the company has also written to the Prime Minister’s Office and Directorate General of Foreign Trade. An email sent to Samsung India remained unanswered till Monday press time.

Samsung had shut down its television plant in Chennai in 2018 after the government imposed import duties on open cell television panels — a critical component which accounts for 65-70% of the total manufacturing cost. Since it became expensive to make TVs in India, the Korean company started importing televisions from Vietnam at zero duty through the free trade agreement route.
Samsung to Make TV Sets in India from Dec
The executives said Samsung will re-establish its television plant at Chennai where the line is already present but requires modernisation and manpower. It will continue to import the high-end models like 75-inches and above which is a miniscule portion of total sales. Samsung has been manufacturing some TV models in India through contract manufacturer Dixon since early this year.

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The company has said the local plant will drastically reduce India’s import dependency in the sector by catering to the majority of the domestic market and limiting imports to extremely high end and low volume products.

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