The GST Council has enforced a steep hike in the GST rates on mobile handsets from 12% to 18%. This comes at a time when most handset manufacturers are already struggling to cope with COVID-19. Industry veterans feel that the recommendation by the GST Council will seriously harm the industry. In India, the smart phone segment is already struggling with competition, weak rupee and the supply chain disruptions. Most manufacturers concede that they may be compelled to increase prices, which could actually weaken demand. The sector has demanded that all phones under Rs.15,000 be clawed back to 12% GST to keep demand robust among the population.