The Department of Electronics and Information Technology is working on a policy to incentivise entrepreneurs to set up electronics testing laboratories, as part of its plans to introduce a standards regime for all electronic products.

The Government has recently notified 15 category of electronic products, including computers, multi-media products and phones that should comply with certified safety and efficiency standards by April 2013.

“Even for certifying standards for these category of products, we do not have adequate electronics testing labs. We are working on a new policy under which we will provide some incentives to investors willing to set up such labs,’’ Ajay Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology, told Business Line on the sidelines of an event here today.

Certification of products

It is estimated that at least 50 labs are required to enable makers of these categories of electronic products get the required certificate before they hit the market. Some of the makers of these products are setting up their own labs, but there will still be a need for independent labs, he said.

In the second phase, the Government will bring in other products under this regime. Medical electronics products will not immediately brought under the certified standards regime.

This initiative is part of the government’s target of achieving a turnover of $400 billion for electronics products by 2020 from the current level of $80 billion. “Out of the targeted $400 billion, $55 billion will come from the chip design segment, about $80 billion from semiconductors, $35 billion from LED products and $34 billion from telecom equipment,’’ Kumar said.

Electronics development fund

The new policy on electronics will also see the creation of an Electronics Development Fund of Rs 10,000 crore with contributions from the government, private investors and venture funds.

“This mother fund will fund different daughter funds, each ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 1,000 crore. We expect some of the daughter funds to be operational in the next three to four months," he said.

amitmitra@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 24, 2012)
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