As the Finance Ministry prepares to announce the budget in the next few weeks from now, Gurmeet Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India Ltd highlights the positive impact of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat on the Air Conditioning sector. Additionally, putting Room AC’s under 18% GST slab from the existing 28% provides an opportunity for growth in the Room Air Conditioning sector.
Gurmeet Singh said: “I want to start by expressing my gratitude to all the front-line medical staff for their tireless and selfless efforts in helping us fight the pandemic. Over the past one year, we have witnessed the Central Government rising to the occasion by taking several bold steps to revive the economy and more specifically the manufacturing sector. The revision of the definition of MSME, introduction of several support provisions for MSMEs under the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Package and introduction of Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme, to name a few, have started to bring back the positive sentiment in this labor-intensive sector. The proposal to cover Air Conditioning products under the Phased Manufacturing Program (PMP) and the imposition of import ban on refrigerant filled Air Conditioning units are expected to improve local manufacturing in our industry.”
He added: “As we begin to turn the page on the pandemic, the aftershocks of this pandemic, seen in the form of rising commodity prices, a sudden surge in ocean freight costs, rising fuel costs, rising NPAs in the banking sector to name a few, pose a serious threat to our economic recovery. It is a fact that our country lags behind our peers in the penetration of Room Air Conditioning, which is currently at around 6%. This is clearly a huge opportunity for growth. Putting Room AC’s under 18% GST slab from the existing 28% would not only help the manufacturers in combating these cost increases but also support strong growth of the sector. As the Finance Ministry prepares to announce the budget in a few short weeks from now, we look forward to more such bold and decisive steps ‘unlike anything in the past 100 years’ ”.