'Mobile phones to become dearer as govt imposes 10% duty on display'

Mobile phone prices are expected to rise about 3 per cent as the government has imposed 10 per cent duty on the import of displays, industry body ICEA said on Friday.

The duty on display assembly and touch panel was proposed to be applied from October 1 under a phased manufacturing programme (PMP) announced in 2016 in consensus with the industry.

“There will be an impact on mobile phone prices between 1.5 and 3 per cent,” industry body ICEA National Chairman Pankaj Mohindroo said in a statement.

India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) members include Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo and Winstron.

The objective of the PMP was to facilitate manufacturing of components indigenously and discourage imports thereafter.

“In a rare miss, the industry could not ramp up display assembly production adequately because of COVID-19 and NGT embargo. We continue to be fully committed to domestic manufacturing of sub-assemblies and components. However, now, the focus is to take a lion’s share of global markets and not just import substitution,” Mohindroo said.

Vedanta Group Chairman Anil Agarwal-promoted Volcan Investments had proposed to set up the country’s first LCD manufacturing unit in 2016 with investment of around Rs 68,000 crore in the name of Twinstar Display Technologies. However, the proposal did not get the government’s approval and the project could not take off.