Two chip plants by year-end: Rajeev Chandrasekhar | The Financial Express

Two chip plants by year-end: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

In addition to the proposals for manufacturing of semiconductor units, the government has also received over 100 applications from startups for design of chips, says Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

Chip plants, semiconductor, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MoS for electronics and IT, Industry
Minister of state for electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

Out of the five applications received for setting up semiconductor manufacturing units with a total investment of `1.53 trillion, the government will approve two proposals shortly, minister of state for electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar told FE on Friday. He said that the two approved proposals, will take around a year or two to come up with their projects.

In addition to the proposals for manufacturing of semiconductor units, the government has also received over 100 applications from startups for design of chips, Chandrasekhar added. He said that while manufacturing will happen in due course, the country already has a base in design and will scale up fast from here.

“In the next few weeks, we will approve two semiconductor manufacturing units, which then will take about one or two years to build out,” Chandrasekhar said. On the design-linked incentive scheme, he said, “We have received not less than 100 applications and have already analysed about 25-30 of them so far. By March, we are looking at having an ecosystem of almost 25 semiconductor design startups.”

The government had, in December 2021, announced a Rs 76,000-crore incentive scheme for development of semiconductors and display manufacturing ecosystem. In September last year, the incentive was further sweetened by the government by making the fiscal support at 50% of project cost uniform across all technology nodes for setting up of semiconductor fabs. Earlier, the fiscal support varied between 30-50% for different units.

Vedanta-Foxconn JV, IGSS Ventures and ISMC propose to set up chip manufacturing plants with $13.6 billion investment and have sought support of $5.6 billion from the government under the incentive scheme.

The Vedanta-Foxconn JV has finalised the Dholera Special Investment Region near Ahmedabad city in Gujarat for setting up their semiconductor and display manufacturing facility.

According to Chandrasekhar, fiscal year 2023-24 will thus be significant as apart from the semiconductor incentive schemes taking off and the smartphone production linked incentive scheme will see exports of mobile phones crossing the `1-trillion mark. “With this, mobile phones will figure among the top 10 exported products from India,” the minister said. “In FY23, exports of mobile phones will be around `85,000-90,000 crore, which will be double of last year,” he added.

On creating a fact-checking mechanism for social media platforms to curb the menace of fake news, Chandrasekhar said that he’s waiting to get a proposal from the industry for instituting a self-regulatory body. 

Earlier, the government had come out with a consultation paper to make its unit, Press Information Bureau, the sole agency for fact checking of news. This was not accepted well by the stakeholders. “We’ve signalled to them that we are open on self regulatory organisation (SRO), now we are waiting for the industry to respond,” he said.

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First published on: 25-02-2023 at 06:15 IST
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