Multinational telecom gear makers have urged Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to hold an urgent consultation on the proposed production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme.

According to the industry group, this would be critical for local manufacturing as companies are willing to put in fresh investments.

In March 2020, the government had announced PLI scheme with an aim to incentivise companies undertaking telecom equipment manufacturing locally. The scheme comes with an outlay worth Rs 409.95 billion. Since then, no formal industry consultation has taken place on the proposed scheme.

In a letter to the telecom secretary, dated May 14, 2020, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said that there has been no formal industry consultation by DoT so far on the proposed scheme or a draft policy. To this end, COAI has urged the DoT to immediately convene a consultation and release the policy draft for stakeholders’ feedback.  As per COAI, several member companies have made large investments in telecom manufacturing in India in the last few years and are looking forward to this scheme to increase production and exports from India. Further, a few equipment makers were also considering making fresh investments in the telecom and digital equipment manufacturing in India.

The industry body added that a dialogue would help in understanding the DoT’s plans, since the scheme would involve significant investments and production commitments from equipment makers who could consider availing this scheme.