Ministry asks Apple to come up with new plan to make in India

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on January 09, 2018

MeitY, Apple ‘nearing a solution’ to make things ‘favourable’ for manufacturing in India

The government has asked US tech major Apple Inc to come back with a fresh approach to its demands for manufacturing in India since the nodal Ministry has changed.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is now mandated to assess the proposals that were earlier being looked into by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Since MeitY became the nodal Ministry a couple of months ago, Ministry officials and senior executives of Apple have been meeting to evaluate the issues, sources close to the development told BusinessLine.

The sources said that both the sides were looking at making things ‘favourable’ for manufacturing in India.

“There have been a series of meetings between Apple’s senior officers and IT Ministry’s senior officials to sort out the issues. Another meeting was held two weeks ago,” a government official said.

According to the official, the Indian government and Apple are ‘nearing a solution’. The Cupertino-based iPhone and iPad manufacturer had sought certain concessions for setting up a manufacturing unit in the country.

The concessions sought included duty exemption on manufacturing and repair units, components, capital equipment and consumables for smartphone manufacturing and service/repair for a period of 15 years; the government has not yet agreed to these.

The government felt that regulations or norms cannot be changed for one company, and if it accommodated Apple’s demands, other companies would also come up with similar demands.

Apple had also sought relaxation in the mandated 30 per cent local sourcing of components, apart from reduction in Customs duties on completely-knocked-down and semi-knocked-down units of devices that are to be assembled in the country.

In March, the then Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had informed the Rajya Sabha that the government had not accepted ‘most of the demands’ of Apple, which wants to set up a manufacturing unit in India.

But with the latest developments, there could be a way out to all the issues, the sources said.

“The Ministry has told Apple to come back with a fresh proposal altogether, which may take some time, as big companies take time to do the due diligence,” said a senior official.

However, the official also added that there would not be any compromise on the existing norms or regulations, to make things ‘favourable’ for Apple.

Published on November 14, 2017

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