The Indian government has today levied a 10 percent import duty on the ket smartphone modules that consist of camera element and several components inside a printed circuit board. The announcement comes a month after the country inflated the tax on customs for imported smartphones to up to 20 percent, up from 15 percent before the Union Budget 2018 in February.
Explaining the proceedings, Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said: “The government has withdrawn the exemption from basic customs duty (BCD) on printed circuit board assembly, camera module and connectors of cellular mobile phones and impose 10 percent BCD on them.”
This basically means that these three components which had zero import duty up until today will be levied with a 10 percent tax from a specified point in time. There will also be a 10 percent tax on importing loaded printed circuit boards for all mobile devices as stated by the revenue department.
The new scheme comes as a move to encourage in-house manufacturing of electronic and IT related products which is part of a bigger aim to turn India into a manufacturing hub like its neighbour China. The country also just became the second manufacturer of mobile phones in the world by beating Vietnam to reach 11 million manufactured devices in 2017, accounting for over 11 percent of the global mobile production.
With so many smartphones being manufactured locally, the quantity of imported devices has gone down to less than half in 2017-18. And with the government’s new scheme for import duties on smartphone components, more companies would want to set up manufacturing plants in the country, meaning lesser the sellers who would be willing to import the same from outside India.
While this may affect premium companies like Apple, many popular brands like Samsung, Xiaomi, and HMD Global have started investing in manufacturing plants within the country. This means, one shouldn’t be concerned about buying Nokia, Samsung or Mi phones and accessories but any device that isn’t made or assembled in India will be a lot costlier in the future.