By A Gururaj
At this year’s Union Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has once again accentuated the Prime Minister’s vision of transforming India into a manufacturing hub through the ambitious Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. While delivering the Budget speech, the FM underlined inclusive development, productivity enhancement, energy transition and climate action as the four pillars of development that will drive the nation’s growth trajectory to new levels.
It is heartening to see that despite the hardships brought by the pandemic, India has achieved significant progress over the past couple of years. This year too, the Budget has given greater emphasis on building world-class infrastructure, implementing modern techniques in farming and ensuring a safe and healthy living environment for citizens.
The mega digital Budget: In a century driven by digital technologies, the government has to stay committed to empower the entire citizenry with the latest technology advancements. In this budget, right from addressing the digital divide by providing superfast broadband connectivity to enabling digital currencies through advanced technologies like blockchain, the government has kept the track ready for a digital-driven economy.
Electronics manufacturing—the clarion call: Traditionally India has been one of the major importers of electronics components, However, the good news is that India’s electronics imports fell to Rs 2.85 lakh crore in 2020-21 from about Rs 2.9 lakh crore in 2019-20 due to the rise in domestic manufacturing especially consumer electronics and electronic components.
At the outset, the National Policy on Electronics (NPE) 2019 had set a national production target of $400 billion by 2025. The Budget 2022 has now kick started another momentous year for the sector through a number of initiatives to facilitate domestic manufacturing of wearable, hearable and other electronic devices. The announcement of duty concessions for some of the major components of mobile phone chargers and mobile camera modules and others are a welcome move in this direction.
The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme is hailed as one of the most proactive steps for the manufacturing sector in India. Today, the FM highlighted how the PLI has infused great confidence in investors and manufacturers. The potential that PLI can alone bring to the industry is estimated to be 60 lakh new jobs and additional production of 30 lakh crore during next five years, as per the FM.
While the industry has been completely galvanized under the pioneering initiative of PLI scheme, it has also set a clarion call to the stakeholders to formulate plans to make it a reality within the stipulated period. On a macro level, the scheme around design-led manufacturing as part of the PLI scheme would fasten the development of the ecosystem while the relaxations in custom duty will drive great domestic value.
The growth of communications infrastructure under the Bharatnet project and the proposed mega 5G network will catalyse the country’s digital empowerment initiatives in the long run. Scheme for design-led manufacturing to be launched for 5G ecosystem as part of PLI scheme will greatly enable affordable broadband and mobile communication in rural and remote areas.
The electronics manufacturing landscape is growing more vivid. India has already realised the potential that the sector can add to the overall GDP. With these progressive, people-centric initiatives, India is going to witness a major digital transformation, driven by a digital devices ecosystem with a Make in India tag in them.
The author is MD, Optiemus Electronics