The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEiTY) is working on the successor to the Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS) programme, said the Ministry’s Secretary S Krishnan.

“There is a belief that Productivity Linked Incentive-based programmes have been more successful than a capital subsidy-based programme. However, not in all the cases--the PLI may not work,” he said, speaking at Elcina’s Source India, an Electronics Supply Chain organised, on Tuesday . The Ministry will design a programme that meets the expectations of the industry and gives them the right incentive; enhances the investment; ensures that the overall output in the sector is increased and the domestic value addition of the sector improves,” he said .

The SPECS programme was designed to help the industry, and the deadline to apply is March 31, 2024. The total number of applications received has exceeded the total allocation of the programme. The next step will be to approve the applications quickly and the industry completes its investment on time and draws the entire benefits that are intended for them, he said.

“We view electronics as possibly the largest single largest manufacturing in the world. That’s where it will end. Its components are in everything that we use. Not being a part of the electronics manufacturing value chain will be a strategic blunder as far as the country is concerned. We need to be part of it,” he said.

In the first nine months of the current fiscal, electronics exports topped $20 billion. During the entire last year, it was $24 billion and clearly the industry will exceed last year’s number comfortably. A substantial portion of that exports takes place from Tamil Nadu as well, he said.

“In the electronics space, no one country can hold the entire value chain. Currently, in India the domestic value addition is about 15 per cent. We need to make sure that most of the PCBs are made in India. We are competitive in this sector . The competitiveness in the component manufacturing is what preserves the overall competitiveness in the electronics sector. This is the crucial area of manufacturing that we need to get into,” he said.,

“Just as electronics exports are going up, imports of electronics components are also increasing. Our domestic value addition to enable the electronics industry to be sustainable in the long term should grow to 30-35 per cent,” he said. It is in this context that the role of Elcina and its members are important in achieving that goal to reduce the import of PCBs that is nearly 70 per cent,” he added.