TV, fridge, washing machines to get costly

As government plans to increase import duties on white goods.

New Delhi: The government is planning to increase import duties on consumer durables – a move that will make TV, washing machines and refrigerators costlier. The move is taken to bring down the import, boost the domestic manufacturing and create jobs which is what Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted when he rolled out flagship ‘Make in India’ programme.

According to a report in the Economic Times, a panel headed by the cabinet secretary is looking at ways to reduce India’s import dependence.

In financial year 2018, India imported nearly $2 billion of finished televisions, washing machines, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, digital cameras and mixer grinders. TV imports amounted to Rs5,000 crore ($730 million at current levels)- nearly a 10th of the total domestic market. These imports were rising at a fast pace, up 35 per cent in current year, the business daily reported.

“There are suggestions that consumer durables, like electronics and telecom, should be brought under the phased manufacturing plan (PMP) and import duties be raised on some finished products,” ET quoted a senior government official as saying.

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