New Delhi: Less than a day after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced cuts in excise and customs duties, some consumer durables firms agreed to pass on the full benefit to customers.

The customs duty on LCD panels has been halved to 5 per cent from 10 per cent.

Samsung Electronics has decied to cut the prices of its large format display (LFD) monitors between Rs 1,200 and Rs 3,500. “The Samsung 32-inch LFD monitors will get cheaper by Rs 1,200, the 40-inch LFD monitor by Rs 2,000 and the 46-inch LFD will cost about Rs 3,500 less,” said a Samsung India spokesperson.

The company is also considering revising the prices of LCD TVs. A Samsung 32-inch LCD TV costs about Rs 38,000, with prices touching Rs 2.85 lakh for 52-inch models. The company spokesperson reasoned, “Since Samsung is running a promotion on its LCD TVs where an Airtel set-top box is bundled along with the panel, we will not be reducing the prices in the month of July.” Globally, LCD TV, monitor and notebook panel prices had increased significantly on tight supply, with suppliers aiming at profits for the third quarter of 2009, according to a report from DisplaySearch.

LG, which had around 23 per cent of the LCD TV market in India last year, had hiked its LCD panel prices on July 1. An LG India spokesperson said: “We had raised the LCD panel pricing by 5 per cent on July 1, due to a steady rise in global LCD panel supply. But with the Budget reducing the customs duty by half, we intend to scale back the earlier price hike.”

An unresolved panel shortage, primarily the result of insufficient supply of glass substrates, is forcing the world’s major panel makers to raise prices more aggressively, as they hoped to end several quarter losses in the July-to-September period.

Source: Business Standard

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