Industry again urged the government to include mobiles, laptops and accessories in the essential list and allow phased opening of repair and sale shops, beginning from the 'green zone'.
The ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY) has approached the ministry of home affairs (MHA) on the electronics industry’s demand of including mobiles and ICT products in the essential list as well as a phased opening, beginning with green zones, of shops selling and repairing handsets, laptops and accessories.
IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday held a video conferencing session with electronics industry deliberating on the scenario arising out of the novel corona virus (Covid-19) outbreak and the lockdown.
Discussions were also held on how India can leverage the current situation to boost its electronics manufacturing sector and become an export destination on the lines of China and Vietnam. It was attended by more than 150 industry leaders and association leaders.
Industry again urged the government to include mobiles, laptops and accessories in the essential list and allow phased opening of repair and sale shops, beginning from the green zone (areas where at present there is no Covid-19 positive cases).
MAIT president George Paul told FE, “On matter relating to declaring ICT products and mobile phones as essential commodity, the minister said that his ministry has approached the government (MHA) and they will keep following it up”.
MAIT suggested that the government can take a phased approach, where retail is opened in semi-urban areas and towns, and e-commerce can cater to metros. Enterprise ICT sector, which caters to data centers and control rooms, can be opened up fully as it has limited public interface and will not compromise the fight against Covid-19, he added.
“We emphasised and it was endorsed by the minister that it is India’s time to seize the opportunity for electronic manufacturing. MAIT strongly recommended for 6% production linked incentive (PLI) to all electronics categories to attract migrating ships of manufacturing leaving China to India’s shores,” Paul said.
IT ministry said that Prasad urged the industry to rise to this occasion and take advantage of opportunities arising due to changes in global supply chains. He laid special emphasis on medical electronics in view of the rising demand for medical equipments, adding that post Covid-19 world over, the demand for such equipment will increase as countries will improve their medical infrastructure.
“It was felt that India’s domestic demand itself is going to be huge as the lockdown has increased dependence of people on digital medium to transact. However, the industry must also work towards catering to the global demands by increasing exports,” it added.
Industry bodies like FICCI, CII, Assocham, MAIT, ICEA, CEAMA, ELCINA, IESA and IAMAI attended the session, while companies such as Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Foxconn, Lava, Wistron, Oppo, Flex, Sterlite, Micromax and Panasonic too participated in the deliberations.