New Delhi, Feb 6:  

Any incentive given to firm will be for the whole sector: Official

A possible easing of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms based on a submission made by iPhone-maker Apple could be extended to the entire electronics manufacturing sector and not just the American tech giant, a senior government official has said.

“No Ministry has taken a final view on the submissions made by Apple. We are in touch with them (the Ministries). If the government decides to listen to particular demands, it would be for the good of the entire sector and the measures will be extended to all and not just the company (Apple),” Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion Secretary Ramesh Abhishek said at a news conference on Monday.

Two weeks ago a team of senior Apple executives briefed a government team led by Abhishek on the company’s manufacturing plans in the country and the concessions they sought.

The team asked for a number of incentives, including exemption from customs duty on imports of components and equipment, and relaxation of conditions like labelling requirements and mandatory domestic sourcing norm for one-third of inputs used, an official told BusinessLine.

If the FDI rules are eased, other companies such as Samsung, Xiaomi and LeEco could also benefit from it.

Apple’s application for exemption from compulsory 30 per cent domestic sourcing norms was rejected by the Finance Ministry last year. However, after the government tweaked FDI rules, the company has applied afresh seeking concessions.

While earlier, companies that qualified as manufacturing products with “cutting-edge” technology qualified for a blanket exemption from the domestic sourcing rule, under the revised rules, the relaxation is available for three years.

At present, electronic manufacturers get benefits under the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (MSIPS). The scheme provides capital subsidy and reimbursements for CVD/excise on capital equipment to boost manufacturing of electronics in the country.

[The Hindu Business Line]