As India emerges as one of the fastest growing markets for Apple, the California-based tech giant had planned to open branded stores in India. But it seems the company faces the roadblock of abiding by the 30 percent local sourcing norm.
Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook’s recent India visit seems to be in vain, with the finance ministry insisting that the maker of iPhones and iPads abide by the 30 percent local sourcing norm if it wants to open branded stores in India.
“There is nothing to show that Apple’s technology is cutting edge. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has been asked to come out with a clear-cut guideline defining ‘cutting edge’ and ‘state-of-the-art’ technology for which such a waiver can be given. There are other companies also in the queue. It could create controversy if we waived the norms for only one without stated guidelines,” the official cited above said.
“There is no evidence before us to reveal that the products are cutting-edge or high-technology. Apple can open single-brand retail stores but has to meet the sourcing requirements,” the official added.
Apple has been arguing for a waiver on the ground that it cannot meet the sourcing norms and the government had last year carved out a special policy window to allow companies with high-technology products to open stores without any local content requirement. A panel was set up to look at proposals which sought waiver.
Tim Cook during his recent sojourn in India, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed the company’s plan to set up manufacturing facilities in India, a move that would create jobs and boost PM Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Cook also discussed with India’s two largest carriers Bharti Airtel and Vodafone to work more closely to sell iPhones.