Source: ETRetail.com, Feb 18, 2021
New Delhi: A new scheme to promote domestic furniture manufacturing is in the works as the government seeks to reduce India’s dependence on imported furniture. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is in talks with other ministries and states to rollout a scheme to make India self-reliant in furniture manufacturing through incentives such as tax breaks. India imported $592 million of furniture in the April-November period of FY21, more than half of which came from China.
“We have begun an exercise and consultations are on with various stakeholders for the furniture sector,” said an official. However, a production linked incentive scheme or PLI is ruled out for the sector.
“We are looking at schemes which states can consider and what benefits they can offer such as tax concessions,” the official added.
The furniture sector is one of the champion sectors for the government.
The government is also exploring the idea of furniture clusters, on the line of leather clusters, wherein large scale manufacturing can take place.
The move is crucial as besides China, India also imports furniture from Korea and some ASEAN countries with which it has free trade agreements that limits the scope for duty hikes.
“Given that furniture imports have been substantial in the past, any incentive scheme for manufacturing in India will make supplies from these domestic manufacturers, predominantly MSMEs, more competitive not only for local consumption but also in global markets,” said Bipin Sapra, partner at advisory firm EY.