Computer sales drop 2.3% in quarter ended December

Friday, 28 March 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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Computer sales in the Indian market dropped 2.3 percent in the quarter ended December 31, 2002, compared to the same period in the previous year as companies cut back on fresh orders, says a survey.

NEW DELHI: The desktop computer market grossed 431,000 units in the October-December quarter, said the survey conducted by the computer hardware industry umbrella group Manufacturers Association for Information Technology (MAIT).

The association expects sales to pick up in the quarter ending March 31 on account of increased purchases by government agencies and private sector companies.

"With increased sales throughout the year and also, traditionally, the last quarter accounting for maximum sales, the industry is expected to comfortably cross the two million mark in PC sales," it said.

MAIT, however, said the sharply growing share of the grey market, or the unorganised sector, was a worrying trend for the industry.

The share of the unorganised sector in the overall desktop computer market has gone up from 50 percent in the April-June quarter of the current fiscal to a whopping 63 percent in the quarter ended December 31, 2002, it said.

MAIT said the government must bring down the excise duty from 16 percent to eight percent to help branded computer makers compete with the unorganised sector on the price front.

The price difference between branded and unbranded computers is not only on account of evasion of excise duty and other local levies but is also due to rampant software piracy, said the association.

"To ensure that IT reaches the grassroots in India, there is a pressing need to bring down the prices of IT products," said Vinnie Mehta, executive director of MAIT.

"We will continue to press for reduction in excise duty, as it is the key to eradicating the menace of the grey market."
Source: IANS

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