The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has opened the application window for those manufacturers of drones and drone components who may have crossed the PLI eligibility threshold for the FY22.

The deadline for submitting the application form has been fixed at May 20.

The final list of PLI beneficiaries is expected to be released by June 30 “after detailed scrutiny of their financial results and other specified documents”, a statement from the government said.

Earlier, on April 20, the MoCA had published a provisional list of 14 PLI beneficiaries based on the financial results submitted by the applicants for the ten-month period April 1, 2021 to January 31, 2022. These include five drone manufacturers and nine drone component manufacturers.

Incentives for drone makers

The eligibility criteria for PLI scheme for drones and drone component – that was notified in September 30, 2021 – includes an annual turnover of ₹2 crore for drone-makers and ₹50 lakh for drone component makers; and value addition of over 40 per cent of sales turnover.

A total incentive of ₹120 crore will be spread over three fiscals. The PLI rate is 20 per cent of the value addition, one of the highest among other PLI schemes, the statement said.

Apart from the PLI scheme, the Centre has carried a series of reforms to make India a global drone hub by 2030.

The reforms include notification of the liberalised Drone Rules, 2021; publishing of Drone Airspace Map 2021 for opening nearly 90 per cent of Indian airspace as a green zone; UAS Traffic Management (UTM) policy framework 2021; Drone Certification Scheme 2022 – which makes it easier for drone manufacturers to obtain a type certificate; Drone Import Policy, 2022 – that bans import of foreign-made drones; and the Drone (Amendment) Rules, 2022 which abolishes the requirement of a drone pilot license for drone operations.