The Centre is likely to implement Compulsory Registration Scheme for self-declaration of conformity with the new Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) on imports of tempered glass screen protectors (TG-SP), which are mainly part of the unorganised sector right now.

According to sources in the know, representations have been sent from the organised players to both the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and BIS requesting mandatory “Fog marking/ Etching” on all the imported tempered glass screen printers.

Loss to the exchequer

The sources said there is a loss of thousands of crore of rupees to the government every year because of such unorganised imports of the screen guards from China.

“There is a loss to the government in terms of tax to the tune of thousands of crores (rupees). Besides consumers are getting low quality plastic products in the name of screen protectors,” a senior government official told businessline. There is a lot of job opportunities if this sector becomes organised and can employ 40,000-50,000 people, the official said.

In India, there are only a few companies like Optiemus Infracom and Corning India right now, which are manufacturing tempered glass or screen protectors for smartphones locally.

According to market reports, domestic market for tempered glass screen protectors is estimated to reach around ₹25,000 crore ($3.4 million) by 2025 at consumer price from currently around ₹18,000 crore, and the cumulative market is likely to be around ₹1,02,700 crore ($14.3 billion) in the next five years.

In terms of volumes, the overall market for TG-SP reached 373 million units in 2021 in India and only 10 per cent market is organised and rest 90 per cent are in the grey market.

Globally also, the screen protectors market is a large part of the mobile accessories ecosystem and is expected to grow to $75 billion by 2025 from a current level of around $43 billion.

According to the India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) also, MeitY should recommend a specific HS Code for the Imports of TG-SP and make this as a mandatory requirement for these imports with Customs.

It said apart from GST, there are also other revenue losses to the nation like no income tax revenue, deficit in customs duty collections, lack of employment and most importantly, mobile consumers in India are being provided with spurious/ sub-standard products.

“Once the standardisation is achieved, a legal and quality-oriented market will be created, enabling the local suppliers to sell through proper channels, formalising the entire supply chain,” Pankaj Mohindroo, Chairman, ICEA, said.

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