India Inc., including the consumer electronics industry, has long since been lobbying for the implementation of GST with the government. A uniform tax, subsuming all central and sales taxes, would create a national market for the products and reduce logistics cost. It would encourage large-scale manufacturing, adjudicate disputes between center and states, increase productivity, and finally place India on the global electronics manufacturing map.
So far, so good. The GST Council, however, has recommended that television sets, washing machines, and refrigerators be brought under the 28 percent luxury items slab, along with cars, pan masala, and tobacco. CA and HA products are no longer luxury items. With low penetration of these mass consumption products in India, the highest acceptable tax would be 18 percent. It would also be in line with the Make in India initiative.
The recent demonetization of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 currency notes may have a negative impact on the dealer fraternity. All cash transactions will get hit, as will the footfall in dealers’ shops. As India moves to becoming a cashless, digital economy, and mobile-based payment solutions gather momentum, it is the e-commerce platforms which may further take away business from the brick-and-mortar stores. In the regional areas, the unorganized segment may also get marginalized.
Brands reported good sales this festive season. By and large, dealers, family chain stores, and modern retail counters were satisfied with their performance. E-commerce sites were exuberant. With increasing popularity of larger-screen sets, per unit realization was also satisfactory. Tier-II and III cities too contributed to increased demand.
E-auction of the second batch of Private FM Radio Phase-III channels is in progress. 266 channels in 92 cities comprising 227 channels in 69 fresh cities and 39 unsold channels from 23 cities of batch-I of Phase-III have been put on auction. The auction has received a muted response from the operators, with some big ones as Big FM, Radio City, My FM, Radio One, and Fever not participating. The number of cities with no bids are at 46. The process shall continue till all the channels are auctioned.