DeMon seems to be behind us, and JFM 2017 is expected to see single-digit growth. The e-commerce industry, for which the demonetization drive was nothing short of a godsend, seems to have missed the bus.

The industry is now anxiously looking at GST implementation –

the likely date being July 1. While the industry welcomes the GST regime, there is major apprehension that some of the products may be classified as luxury items and attract a 28 percent GST. Also, if the current total duty paid at 20–22 percent (excise duty 8 percent and VAT 12–14 percent) does not fall under the 18 percent slab, there will be mayhem.

With the recent hike in the price of 32-inch sets, and the consequent narrowing down of price difference between 32-inch and 40-inch sets, a shift is taking place in favor of the larger screen FPDs. This has been prompted by continued reduction in the output of this size in comparison with production of larger-sized panels by the Korean makers, and the hike in the 32-inch panel prices by the Chinese makers, who are shifting strategies and instead expanding the production of IT displays in 2017. With Samsung Display’s decision to shut down its unprofitable L7-1 line, which is responsible for a majority of the global supply of 40-inch TFT LCDs, in favor of the growing OLED demand, the equation may change further. 

There have been some interesting developments in February. BARC India data reveals a 19 percent increase of total TV homes in India, with a larger growth in rural homes, changing the split ratio from 50:50 to 46:54. And within the urban areas, faster growth occurred in NCCS B and C, thus increasing the share of the middle class. The second batch of FM Phase-III auctions concluded with the government netting in Rs.200 crore, albeit there were no takers for 200 channels. The cable TV tariffs are expected to come down in response to the three guidelines relating to digital addressable system issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on March 3.

A Happy Holi to all our dear readers!