Govt to consider Apple’s request with ‘open mind’

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New Delhi | Updated: January 19, 2017 6:28:10 AM

The government will consider US tech giant Apple’s request for various incentives with an "open mind" and it would "very much like" the iPhone maker to set up its base in India.

apple-reuApple has sent a list of demands to the government — including a 15-year customs duty holiday on iPhone kit imports and favourable local sourcing policy — as necessary pre-conditions to start manufacturing in India. (Reuters)

The government will consider US tech giant Apple’s request for various incentives with an “open mind” and it would “very much like” the iPhone maker to set up its base in India.”We would very much like Apple to come and have a base in India… If a structured request comes from them, we will surely consider it with an open mind,” communications & information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters on Wednesday.

Apple has sent a list of demands to the government — including a 15-year customs duty holiday on iPhone kit imports and favourable local sourcing policy — as necessary pre-conditions to start manufacturing in India.

A team of the company is scheduled to give a presentation to senior officials from various ministries, including finance, communications and industry, on January 25.

Apple wants a 15-year customs duty holiday on import of iPhone kits, new and used capital equipment, and consumables to establish an iPhone production facility in India, among other incentives, The Indian Express has reported.

Apple’s “desired model for entry” shows that it does not intend to source locally, as it has sought duty cuts on components, completely knocked down and semi knocked down units of iPhones, for reassembly at the finished goods manufacturing line to be set up in spring this year, according to the report. However, an earlier request by Apple, seeking a waiver of the mandatory 30% local sourcing rule under FDI rules for setting up its own stores in India, was turned down by the finance ministry last year.

Currently, Apple sells its products in India through a network of local distributors and retailers. Prasad’s statement came after the Cabinet restructured a subsidy programme for electronic manufacturing by tightening some of its provisions following the finance ministry’s objections.

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