The promotion of domestically manufactured telecom and electronic equipment has been a key priority for the government during the past months.

On the electronic equipment manufacturing front, the government approved total ince­ntives worth Rs 4.15 billion for two companies, Foxconn India and Padget Electronics, for mobile manufacturing under the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for the large-scale electronics manufacturing sector. The incentives were approved by the Empowered Committee headed by Parameswaran Iyer, chief executive officer, NITI Aayog.

With regard to telecom equipment manufacturing, the Ministry of Communications recently informed Parliament that DoT has formed an expert committee to recommend measures for promoting the export of domestically manufactured telecom equipment.

In another move, DoT formed four task forces to recommend measures for strengthening the domestic telecom manufacturing ecosystem and remove bottlenecks that hamper its growth. The development follows a round table discussion between Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister of Communications, Electronics and Information Technology and Railways, and 42 chiefs of telecom gear manufacturers, held in early-December 2022, where he identified the need for creating a task force to resolve the issues raised by the companies.

The goal of the first task force is to submit recommendations for a phased manufacturing programme focused on telecom gear manufacturing to strengthen the domestic component supply chain ecosystem, and attract global players. The second task force will study the present ecosystem and recommend to the government chipset manufacturing measures under schemes such as the Telecom Technology Development Fund, Semicon Policy and other policy interventions required for reducing the dependence on imports.

The third task force will perform a study on the time taken in custom clearance and air cargo movement, and the infrastructure available. It will suggest measures for improving the lead time and reducing inventory in production and sales, and setting up free trade warehousing zones at key airports to resolve logistics-related issues. Meanwhile, the fourth task force will identify new opportunities for the development and manufacturing of 5G products in the country. The government has asked these task forces to submit their reports within the next 45 days.

These measures indicate the government’s intent to understand the industry’s issues and highlight its willingness to introduce policies to promote domestic equipment manufacturing. All eyes are now set on the four task forces, waiting to see whether their recommendations would be acceptable to manufacturers and the changes they bring about in India’s domestic manufacturing ecosystem.