‘Over next 6 yrs, 100 cos in semiconductor space will benefit from Rs 76k-cr policy boost’

y countries have capital power, have strong manufacturing capabilities, what is special in India is three things – first is a big design ecosystem.

Third, is the talent pool, which no country has but we have that capability already. We will create 85,000 engineers as part of chips to startup (C2S) scheme through partnership with 60 institutions like IITs, NITs, exchange programmes etc.
Third, is the talent pool, which no country has but we have that capability already. We will create 85,000 engineers as part of chips to startup (C2S) scheme through partnership with 60 institutions like IITs, NITs, exchange programmes etc.

After unveiling the Rs 76,000-crore incentive scheme for semiconductors, minister of electronics and IT Ashwini Vaishnaw told FE’s Kiran Rathee that over the next 6 years, 100 companies in semiconductor space, will get benefits under the scheme. Excerpts:

Q) Other countries are also offering benefits for semiconductor manufacturing, so what makes India different?

A) Many countries have capital power, have strong manufacturing capabilities, what is special in India is three things – first is a big design ecosystem. Over 20,000 odd engineers are designing for the world, they can create their own IPR. So, supporting design ecosystem is a critical component of the policy. Second is the roadmap for 20 years. Our Prime Minister has kept a vision of 20 years. Third, is the talent pool, which no country has but we have that capability already. We will create 85,000 engineers as part of chips to startup (C2S) scheme through partnership with 60 institutions like IITs, NITs, exchange programmes etc.

Q) Which companies, big or small, are likely to get benefits under the scheme?

A) Big firms along with small companies will get benefits under the scheme. Big firms will be involved in silicon and display fabs. But there is a very large segment, like the compound semiconductors, which go into automobiles, power electronics, railway engines, telecom towers, etc. This kind of technology is medium scale, which requires investments to the tune of Rs 200 crore, Rs 500 crore, etc. In this segment, we are targeting a minimum of 15 firms or we might reach 70-80 plants being set up in this segment.

Q) How many companies will be part of this semiconductor policy?

A) We are looking at 100 companies in design, packaging, compound, display and silicon over a period of 6 years but immediate action will be seen in next few months.

Q) When will the first fab start manufacturing?

A) First compound semiconductor fab’s foundation stone is expected to be laid in 12 months.

Q) Since semiconductor manufacturing is very complex, will the suggestions or requirements of the companies will be taken into account?

A) We will think in a very flexible way. There was a very extensive stakeholder consultation with the industry, supply chain firms like in gas supply, ultrapure water, state governments, academia, diplomats etc.

Q) When will the government start taking applications for the scheme?

A) Within a few weeks. We are doing very fast work.

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