The Civil Aviation Ministry on Thursday invited applications from the drone industry for the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme that was announced last year. The ministry had on September 16, 2021, announced a PLI scheme for drones and drone components with an allocation of ₹120 crore spread over three financial years.

Under the PLI scheme, the incentive for a manufacturer of drones and drone components will be 20 per cent of the "value addition" made by the company during the next three years. The value addition is calculated as the annual sales revenue from drones and drone components (net of GST) minus the purchase cost (net of GST) of drone and drone components.

The Civil Aviation Ministry's statement said on Thursday: "The application form (for PLI scheme) is of one page only, along with the certificate from the head of organisation and the statutory auditor." More than one company within a group of companies may file separate applications under this PLI scheme and the same will be evaluated independently, it mentioned.

Total PLI payable

However, the total PLI payable to such applicants shall be capped at 25 per cent of the total financial outlay under this PLI scheme, it noted. "Deadline for submission of application form is 2359 hours on March 31, 2022," it mentioned. The PLI scheme came in September 2021 as a follow-through of the liberalised Drone Rules, 2021, released by the ministry on August 25, 2021.

Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had on September 16 last year that the Indian drone industry will have a total turnover of up to ₹15,000 crore by 2026 as the government has given a major boost to the sector with the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme.

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