September 2017

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Sure enough, the introduction of the much debated Goods and Service Tax (GST) has caused a flutter in the industry and set a cat amongst the pigeons. Prices were supposed to remain stable or go down but have actually gone up for most photography equipment. The reasons are very clear. All cameras in India are imported and whilst several items like countervailing duty have been abolished, custom duty still continues and gets added to the cost. Hopefully, the industry will be able to pass on the increase in price to the customer. GST is very likely to cause a short term inflationary impact on the economy, even otherwise. The related question that can be asked is – Why is there no manufacturing industry in either assembling or manufacturing cameras in India? A number of camera and audio majors have factories even in Vietnam but India has been ignored in spite of being a large and growing market.

The reasons are obvious. The ease of doing business, especially as far as manufacturing is concerned, is rather low and needs a dramatic improvement for things to change.

H. S. Billimoria