The government has not taken a final decision yet on the concessions being sought by US iPhone maker Apple for setting up a manufacturing unit in India, a top official said today. Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Ramesh Abhishek said that Apple has submitted certain demands for the government’s consideration.
“We had a meeting of all the concerned ministries and departments (on those demands) and we have asked them to look at those issues and take a view. No ministry has yet taken a final decision on any of those. But we are in touch with them,” Abhishek told reporters here.
He said the government supports all manufacturing, including value manufacturing, in the country by companies. “So we would definitely like to promote this. So we are coordinating response from all the concerned ministries but no final view has been taken yet on any of those,” he said. The secretary also clarified that the government does not take any policy decision for a particular company.
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“Decision is taken for everyone. So no company specific decision can be taken,” he said, adding that DIPP has forwarded the requests of Apple to the Department of Revenue also. On January 25, Apple Inc indicated to the government that it is ready with a blueprint to begin manufacturing iPhones in India, but wants fiscal concessions, including Customs duty waiver on import of components.
Apple executives made a detailed presentation on its road map for setting up a manufacturing unit in India to an inter-ministerial group headed by Abhishek.
With sales tapering in the US and China, Apple is eyeing India — the fastest growing smartphone market in the world –and looking to set up a local manufacturing unit to cut costs. It makes devices through contract manufacturers.
Besides exemption from the Customs duty on imports of components and equipment for 15 years, Apple wants relaxation in the mandated 30 per cent local sourcing of components. In a communication to the government, the Cupertino-based technology major has asked for several tax and other incentives, including long-term duty exemptions, to enter the manufacturing sector in India.
Currently, the government provides support by way of benefits under the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (MSIPS) to boost electronic manufacturing.
The company sells its products through Apple-owned retail stores in countries like China, Germany, the US, the UK and France, among others. It has no wholly-owned store in India and sells its products through distributors such as Redington and Ingram Micro.