Indian Government Increases Import Taxes on Mobile Phones; A Move to Develop Domestic Industry

The Indian Government has increased import taxes on electronic products such as mobile phones, television sets, digital cameras, etc. with an aim to reduces supplies from other countries and develop the domestic industry. A government statement saw by Reuters cites a 5% hike on imports of mobile phones, which badly hurts Apple more than anyone.


India is one among the top countries which import a lot of products from other countries. Numbers-wise, India’s goods imports in the last seven months ending October 2017 is $256.4 billion, and it keeps on increasing. If we consider the same last year, India witnessed a 22% rise.

It is already a known matter that our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been pushing the flagship ‘Make in India’ program very hard to develop the domestic industrial base. That said, one of the areas which show success for the Make in India program is electronics.

Pankaj Mohindroo, president of the Indian Cellular Association, said on Friday “the tax hike would boost domestic manufacturers who are making about 500 million cell phones a year, more than double the output three years ago.”

A recent report from Counterpoint Research firm said that eight out of 10 phones sold in India in 2017 are locally made. With brands such as Xiaomi following the initiative of Make in India, it will be hard for Apple to sustain in the already struggling market. South Korean smartphone brand, Samsung is already assembling most of its smartphones which are being sold in India.

If you look at Cupertino giant Apple, it just started assembling the entry-level iPhone SE model in India, but other models including the high-end Apple iPhone X is being imported. Apple has been pushing very hard to get necessary permissions from the Indian government, but the officials are denying the company’s requests.

“It will impact Apple the most as the company imports 88 percent of its devices into India. Either this will lead to increase in iPhone prices or force Apple to start assembling more in India,” Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint Research said on the new tax change.

Keeping the mobile phones aside, the new import tax rise also applies to video cameras, television sets. The tax rise for video cameras is 5%, which takes into 15% from the previous 10%, whereas in the case of television sets, the new import tax rise is 20%.

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105 Comments on "Indian Government Increases Import Taxes on Mobile Phones; A Move to Develop Domestic Industry"


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December 19, 2017 11:15 am 11:15 AM

Welcome to the Stone Age !

Kiran Fernandes | Mumbai
December 17, 2017 5:11 pm 5:11 PM

With the rise of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, the RBI is unable to tax the people who are spending money on cryptos. So the RBI is searching for other ways to tax the common man. The RBI found a way to Fk up paypal, Fk up transactions coming to India from other sources, and now their blood boils when seeing Indians getting rich via bitcoin. I’m pretty sure there’s gonna be a lot more tax increases by 2020. The government doesn’t wanna see the people happy. They just want to satisfy themselves. It’s a self centered government.

December 17, 2017 9:40 pm 9:40 PM

That’s quite a stupid statement. This move tells that this government isn’t shy to take hard steps for good purposes. Huge imports are a problem for our country and I’m happy our gov is taking steps to correct this unsuitability.

December 17, 2017 10:50 pm 10:50 PM

You expect the American Corporations to not lobby with their government to take reciprocal steps ! The rest of the world may very well overtax Indian exports rendering them uncompetitive !!!!

Understand that we live in a globalised world ! Protectionism doesn’t work in the long run ! This is F regressive ! Shortsighted BS !

Girish Gowda
December 19, 2017 10:08 am 10:08 AM

You have no idea what you’re talking about do you? You just want China to get all our money

Airtel User
December 18, 2017 4:53 pm 4:53 PM

Dumb Logic !

December 17, 2017 3:27 pm 3:27 PM

India has yet to produce its own ‘Xiaomi’